What court Form do I need to respond to a summons. The complaint is regarding a company who believes that my friends website was selling Decker shoes without the consent of Decker Corporations approval.
5 Answers from Attorneys
If it's in federal court, no. If in state court, there are form answers. However, you would want to raise affirmative defense. It might be wise to retain an attorney to represent you.
Don't fill out a form. You don't know what to put down. Please have Your Friend call me, or some other attorney, right away to prevent a default judgment from being entered against you.
The answer to your question depends on many different factors, including whether your friend was sued in federal or state court, whether your friend was actually selling Decker shoes? (If not, maybe you can demurer instead of answer), etc.
If this is a corporation suing your friend you should retain an attorney. If this is not an option then you need to at least consult with an attorney before filling out anything.
If the lawsuit was filed in state court, you can obtain various forms by visiting the California Courts official website. That being said, however, the real issue is what you need to file. The proper response to a lawsuit can be varied. For instance, you would simply file a general answer to refute the material allegations; however, typically it is appropriate to also assert various affirmative defenses. If the lawsuit asserts information that is improper, incomplete, inadequate as a matter of law, etc., then the proper response would be a demurrer and/or motion to strike to clarify the pleadings, which are the framework for the entire case. If you have a case against the plaintiff arising from the same general facts, you may need to consider a cross-complaint. Proper jurisdiction, service of process, etc. create additional factors to consider upon response. The most important thing for you to worry about right now is WHEN the response is due. If you do not respond timely, you can be defaulted, which admits everything alleged against you. If you need additional time to figure out the response or obtain an attorney to help you, opposing counsel will often stipulate (formal written agreement) to allow additional time for your response. As the prior responses indicate, this appears to be a case where consultation with an attorney would be helpful and appropriate.
This office can prepare a drafted answer asserting all of your available affirmative defenses at a very reasonable fee. If the complaint may be subject to a demurrer or a motion to strike, then the fee will be a little higher. Contact me directly.