Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New York

Hello, I reside in California, recently (march) a long term friend of mine paid $350 for me to come down to New York and visit her. We have been friends for 14 years and she has often helped me, sending food, clothing, money and etc., to help because I came upon hard times. I work 2 days a week max 4 hours each shift for a total of 8 hours a week if Im lucky. (6-7 hours lately) and I am presently on welfare, (for the last year or so) My friend is aware of all this being as we were so close. Anyway we had a "falling out" while I was there and she then stated, "you know that money was a loan right?". We both know the money was not a loan, it was a gift so that we could see each other, because it had been years, she and I both knew that I couldnt be or accept a loan like that. I repeatedly asked her if she was sure before I purchased the ticket and she insisted that I do it. I just received ( day or two ago ) a photo copy of a summons to a New York court stuck on my door, saying that she is suing me for $1000 dollars, for interest, loss of work, and room and board. My questions are; is this even legal, does the New York court have the power.jurisdiction to force me to appear, and even if they can, is it legal for her to inflate the price and tak on frivoulous charges to get more money, I have a email from her where she state, "maybe I should have told you, you had to pay me back, that way you would not have gotten confused". Does that qualify as her admitting that it wasnt a loan, or at the very least, that she didnt tell me it was a loan.

thanks in advance for your advice

Asked on 5/25/10, 8:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Phroska L. McAlister PHROSKA LEAKE McALISTER
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The Summons you received probably does not subject you to criminal liability, if you fail to Answer or Appear in NY. But you may be subject to civil liability and entry of a money judgment against you, if you ignore it.

Therefore, Your Written Answer should be "Served" on the Plaintiff, (by a third party, by certified & regular mail) & Filed in the NY Court, with an Affidavit by the third party, that your Answer was "Served" on the Plaintiff, as indicated, Your Answer should include your Defenses & Affirmative denials essentially as follows: No Jurisdiction, due failure to properly Serve (service on your door, in a debtor creditor case is not "service & fails "due process") Denial of the Claims generally & specifically; and your Claim of Plaintiff's "Admission" that alleged loan/s were not loans since Plaintiff never told you that they were.

Your Answer should also include your Request that the Complaint be Dismissed with prejudice. If not, that you Request that your testimony & evidence be permitted to be submitted to the Court, by electronic means (ie., telephone & fax), inasmuch as you reside in CA, and your financial (& other situation), does not permit or afford your Court attendance, in NY.

Make certain that you provide all of your contact information in your papers.

You should seek further Legal Assistance from a local law school clinic or Community Legal Aid Center, to assist you in preparing your Answer & otherwise help you with this matter, along the lines suggested.

Good luck,

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5/26/10, 7:21 am

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