Answering a Legal Complaint

Regardless of how you decide to respond to the lawsuit, remember that there are timelines to act. As a general rule, you have twenty calendar days from the date of receipt of the summons and complaint (excluding the date of service) to file a response with the court. But this time could be shorter in some cases. So read the subpoena and all the documents you have received carefully! How you respond to the subpoena and complaint depends on the facts of your case. Before you take action, click Civil Case Overview to familiarize yourself with the civil process. It is important that no defence be asserted in asserting the claims. On the contrary, after researching the legal claims asserted in the opponent`s complaint, all affirmative defenses include all affirmative defenses that have at least a questionable chance of success in the case. A person should assert all recognizable legal defenses, but not frivolous defenses. In addition, a person can – and often should – assert multiple affirmative defenses – and generally a person only has to “set out in short and simple terms [the] defenses of each claim made.” [2] In other words, a detailed explanation of the individual`s affirmative defense is not required, and these defenses include, but are not limited to: (1) those listed in Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or a similar state rule, such as: failure to assert a claim for which a remedy may be granted; (2) legal force, collateral estoppel and fraud status; and (3) other substantive objections to the legal rights invoked in the opponent`s claim, such as contributory negligence in tort actions and compliance and performance in contractual actions. Consider the following positive objections in response to the negligence claim against Sporting World: TIP! You need to use the form for the right dish. Look at the subpoena and complaint you received. On the first page of the subpoena or complaint is a “legend” (title).

This legend must indicate to which court the case was filed (district or judicial). In law, a response refers to a defendant`s first formal written statement on a plaintiff`s first motion or complaint. This opening written statement will admit or reject the allegations or request additional information about the allegations of misconduct. Most often, a response includes the defendant`s counterclaims (claims or claims against the plaintiff) and/or affirmative defenses (legal defenses that may defeat the plaintiff`s claim). Responding to the adversary`s factual claims is one of the most important aspects of developing a response. A person must be particularly diligent in this regard, as these responses are part of a legal dispute that can affect the likelihood that they will be held liable and may ultimately be one of the many grounds on which an appeal is filed. When responding to the factual allegations of a complaint, a person has four options: knowing what to do if a subpoena and complaint have been served on you, including the time you have to respond and the options available to you. Remember that if you do nothing, the person suing you can ask the court for a monetary verdict against you! If negligence had been investigated under New York law before responding to these allegations, one would have identified: (1) the elements necessary to make a recognizable claim of negligence; and (2) available objections to a claim of negligence. In New York, in particular, if the facts warrant it, a person can assert a comparative negligence claim, which states that a plaintiff`s recovery can be reduced if the plaintiff`s own negligence contributed to the plaintiff`s harm. Well, in reviewing the above factual allegations, the opponent stated that the plaintiff was legally drunk at the time of the accident. Therefore, it is possible, if not likely, that the accident was partly due to the plaintiff`s poisoning. [1] Therefore, a person should invoke an affirmative defence of comparative negligence that, if accepted, would reduce the amount of damages a party can recover if a jury determines that the client is liable to a person.

Before writing a response, make sure to look for all the legal claims that the opponent claims. In this way, a person can determine whether there are any affirmative defenses, counterclaims, counterclaims, or third-party claims that can be set out in the response. Conversely, for example, if a person does not conduct sufficient investigations, he or she cannot inadvertently detect objections that could have led to the rejection of the opponent`s complaint or a significant reduction in the harm to which the opponent might be entitled. Take the following example: carefully examine factual allegations and provide answers that accurately reflect the individual`s knowledge of those allegations. For example, a person should not deny allegations that they know or should have reason to know that they are true – such refusals will negatively affect the person`s credibility in court and raise doubts about the credibility of their other responses, counterclaims and the like. A person must have a bona fide ground for admitting, refusing, admitting or partially denying or stating that he or she does not have sufficient information to admit or refute the allegations contained in the complaint. Consider the following examples of bona fide responses to an applicant`s factual allegations: If you have received a subpoena and complaint, it likely means you will be prosecuted. As with any pleading filed in court, a person must consult and comply with the rules of the local court before writing and filing a response. In many cases, local court rules contain requirements that are not found in federal or state court rules. For example, a Judge in the Eastern District of New York may require that a response be filed using a specific font and font size, and indicate whether general denials, namely a summary rejection of any allegation in the complaint that does not require a response to a factual allegation, are admissible. As a result, a person cannot forget to consult the rules of the local court when submitting a response or argument.

In addition, after examining the complaint and on the basis of the facts, a person may have the possibility of asserting counterclaims against the opponent, provided that they arise from the same core of operational facts as the allegations invoked in the opponent`s complaint. Although counterclaims are made by a party responding to the complaint, in practice they should be presented in the same way as the legal facts and charges would be set out in a complaint. Therefore, a person would first provide a description of the parties, the basis of jurisdiction, the facts that lead to the claims, specific legal claims, a claim for damages or other remedies, and a request for a jury trial, if desired. Finally, after reviewing the complaint, a person may find that he or she can assert counterclaims, which are claims against another person who has already been named as a defendant, or third-party claims, which are claims against persons who are not yet parties to the action. As with counterclaims, a person should assert these claims in the same manner as he or she would in a complaint. If you do not submit a written response within the required time, the “plaintiff” (the party suing you) may apply to the court for a default judgment against you for anything she has requested in her complaint. After receiving a default judgment, the plaintiff may attempt to seize your salary, seize your bank account, or take your property.