How To Respond To A Lawsuit In California
Everyone wants to avoid a lawsuit. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible. Whether you are being sued by an unscrupulous debt collector, or a business associate has alleged a breach of contract claim, sometimes we are forced to get involved in the civil court system and respond to a lawsuit, regardless of whether or not we can afford it.
In these situations, having a competent attorney by your side is always a good idea. But what happens when you can't afford to spend $10,000-$20,000 on an attorney? With access to free legal services being woefully inadequate, many people have no choice but to represent themselves in court. Fortunately, this is not nearly as difficult as you may think.
Once you understand the basic process and learn a few legal terms, you will see that the legal system is primarily based on simple common sense. Anyone can learn how to respond to a lawsuit without a lawyer!
4 Steps To Answering A Lawsuit In California
The 4 basic steps to responding to any civil lawsuit in California include the following:
1. Being Served With A Summons And Complaint
2. Filing An Answer
Drafting the Answer
If your answer is not formatted correctly, it may be rejected by the court clerk! Answers In California Superior Court have the following format:
- A case caption that includes the name of the court, the names of the parties, and the title of the pleading.
- An introductory sentence, wherein you state who you are and that you are hereby answering the plaintiff’s complaint.
- Admissions and denials, wherein you admit or deny each allegation in the complaint.
- A list of any affirmative defenses you plan on asserting.
- Any counterclaims you are bringing against the plaintiff.
- A ‘Prayer for Relief’ wherein you ask the court what, exactly, you want them to do about this case.
As you can see, that basics of filing an answer to a lawsuit in California are not complicated. Of course, it is impossible to cover all the details of a lawsuit answer in one article, but most responses in California will have the same basic format as described above. If you can understand these concepts, you will be able to competently defend yourself in a civil lawsuit.
Our California Lawsuit Answer Guide will help you respond to a lawsuit in California Superior Court. It includes easy to use forms, samples and instructions that will show you how to:
- File and serve your answer to a civil complaint,
- Send and respond to requests for production,
- Introduce exhibits, offer objections, and interview witnesses at a hearing or trial.
All without an attorney. Our California answer guide is currently 33% off for a limited time.
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