You’ve Been Served

November 15, 2017


You answer the doorbell, and are handed a legal document by a process server.  You come home from work only to discover a Summons and Complaint taped to your door.  Don’t panic.

Being served with a legal proceeding can be scary but, more than likely, there are legal defenses that can be employed to help you in such a scenario.  How and when you were served – what time of day, what day of the week, how the papers were given or left for you – are important details which may be used to question the legitimacy of the service upon you. Make a note of those details – and do not throw out the envelopes!  In addition, when and where the underlying transaction took place is important in determining if the action may be untimely or brought in the wrong court. There are many other issues to consider - Is there a necessary party who was not named in the action?  Was there or is there currently other litigation concerning this same matter?  Was this matter already the subject of a settlement or other agreement?  Is there a document which contradicts these claims? Does this plaintiff have the capacity to bring this claim?

There are many defenses which can be raised to a lawsuit – but you cannot sit on your rights.  You may have as little as 20 days to respond to a lawsuit, so act quickly to seek legal advice before your time to raise your defenses expires. 







Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. All information posted is general advice only, based upon the rules of NYS, and is not intended to be a substitute for personal legal advice. Although information provided here was accurate as of the date of posting, laws change frequently and rules in other jurisdictions may differ. Therefore, readers should not rely upon these postings but should consult an attorney to discuss their specific factual situation.

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