5 Lengthy Legal Processes

The legal system in the country isn’t really known for its timeliness in most cases. That applies toward anything involving the states or the federal government too. Sure, things like restraining orders and small claims suits are pretty quick affairs, but not much else is. You could wait weeks or even months for certain things. Of course, most people won’t have to deal with too many legal matters during their lifetime – save from those annoying trips to the DMV. Here are some of the lengthy legal processes out there.

Change of Name

People change their names all the time, whether they recently got divorced or just want a better name. Either way, the process isn’t that difficult to go through, involving some paperwork and some waiting. Actually, a lot of waiting is involved because it can take months for the name change to become set in stone legally. Most states require potential name changers to advertise the name change in the local newspaper or at the courthouse. In the end, it could take four or five months for a person to completely get their name changed.


Different circumstances can make adoptions really simple or quite difficult. Paperwork has to be filled out, a layer usually needs to be consulted, and the state usually needs to make some judgements. After the adoption has been approved and a baby or toddler or whoever has been transferred, a few things can happen. An adoption doesn’t become completely finalized until six months after the birth of a child in many states because that is when a new birth certificate is created and the former one sealed. Also, some adoptions allow for a 30 day “mind change” clause from either party. Adoptions aren’t finished the moment all the papers are signed in many cases.

Claiming Property from States

Some people may or may not consider this a legal matter, but it deals with the individual states, so it might as well be. At any given time, an account from a financial institution or somewhere else may be sent to the state if the company is unable to contact the owner. A person can find any of their unclaimed assets through various directories provided by government agencies and the states. Unfortunately, some states can take up to 180 days to process these unclaimed property cases, so a person might not get their money or asset back for up to six months.

Birth Certificate Copies & Passports

Luckily, birth certificates and passports can be expedited to make delivery just a few days. Otherwise, the typical process for both documents can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks, depending upon the current volume of requests. The applications for these documents aren’t that difficult, and applicants just pay a fee. Of course, expedited deliveries cost almost a hundred extra dollars for some people. For people that aren’t in a rush, waiting 4 to 8 weeks for either of these documents isn’t that bad.

Civil Suits

Civil suits, especially class action lawsuits or something else of great magnitude, can take a long time to start and then end. Sure, you might file a case in 2011, but some cases can take two or three years to finish up with an actual judgement. That usually isn’t the case for simple things like mutual divorces and other things, but it can happen. There are various things that both the plaintiff and defense can do to slow the process down, adding on weeks or even months to civil cases.

Okay, most legal matters take a long time.

The legal system isn’t exactly the quickest machine out there nor are the state or federal governments. Obviously, some things are quicker than others. You can get a restraining order right away, but you won’t be able to change your name right away. Likewise, a small claims case might take a month from start to finish, but a civil suit could take months or even years. We should all be prepared to wait some amount of time before any particular legal matter is taken care of.

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