It would be my pleasure to do so. If you INSIST on filing yourself, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend going to legalzoom.com or uslegalforms.com and spend a few dozen dollars on a custom petition. You'd need a Petitioner’s Original Petition for Declaratory Judgment.BR>
You must file this paperwork with the Circuit clerk of your county of your place of residence. For example, if you lived in Galveston County, you would need to file with the Galveston County Circuit clerk's Office. Look up your county online - nearly all counties have filing information on their websites. You may also call the county's circuit clerk office to get further information. It is recommended to call ahead to make sure you are filing at the right address. You may either send the petition by mail, or walk into the office to file. It is strongly recommended to file in person, since you can then make sure the filing is correct.
If filing by hand, bring three copies to the county circuit clerk's filing window. Again, check with the county circuit clerk's office to find out where the filing window is located. A clerk will take your copies, typically one or two of them, and stamp the third and give it back to you as proof of filing. You will also be asked to pay a filing fee - typically anywhere from $200 to $300, depending on your county. If you are sending it by postal mail, send three identical copies of the petition, a filing fee (call ahead to find out what it is), and a self-addressed and pre-stamped envelope with your address so the circuit clerk can send you a stamped copy back. Include a one sheet cover letter on top of the petition copies to explain that you are filing
Once you file, you then serve the other party - you get a citation from the circuit clerk that you then attach to a copy of the petition, and you either have a private process server (Google "process server + your state" to get a list of them) or send it to that party CERTIFIED MAIL, with RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED. Once you get the receipt back if you do it that way, you then send A COPY to the Court Clerk with a note that it's service, and save the original for yourself for proof in case it comes up later.
Once the Court sees that you've served, it'll take a few weeks and will then issue a SCHEDULE ORDER which will be sent out via mail to all parties which will explain when your discovery starts, ends, when you pre-trial date is, and when the final hearing on merits is.
During discovery, you send to them (if you wish) Request for Disclosure
, Request for Admissions, and Request for Interrogatories (again, Google each for a sample).
You'll be using that info that they send you in response to help you in your suit.
At pre-trial, the parties touch base and the Court hears any motions that the parties might want to have heard before the Court.
At trial, it's go time, and you do the best you can, but I warn you - trial is hard, and navigating a court room without precious experience in litigation
and without a thorough knowledge in procedure and evidence is basically suicide, especially if they have an attorney. This is why again, I recommend one.I'd like to refer you to the Maryland Bar's Referral program. The program is free. The attorneys are vetted, qualified, and affordable. If memory serves me right, you also get a free consultation once you are matched up with an attorney from the category that you need (or at least the consultation is very cheap - I know this for a fact). The link to the Bar's referral service is below.
Best of luck in your matter. I'm here if you need any more clarification or follow up information.
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