Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

I am being Sued

I received a Summons that I am being sued (Form SUM-100) from a server who came to my door on 12/1/2008. It indicates that I have 30 calendar days to file a written response (Form PLD-C-010). I noticed that the date that this was filed was on 11/3/2008. Today is 11/4/2008 and it seems like they waited at the last minute to let me know that I am being sued so that I wouldn't have time to file a written response. Did this plantiff do anything wrong? Can I still file my response?

Asked on 12/04/08, 4:20 pm

7 Answers from Attorneys

Joel Selik

Re: I am being Sued

The 30 days to respond is from the date of service.

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Answered on 12/04/08, 4:25 pm
Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Re: I am being Sued

You have 30 days from the date you received the lawsuit to respond.

1. If the lawsuit is something that might possibly be covered by your auto, homeowners, or renters' insurance, call your insurance carrier right away.

2. Do not attempt to respond to the lawsuit without consulting an attorney.

Especially, you must ignore the dangerous and misleading language on the summons form that suggests you should use some preprinted form to respond.

3. Do not call, contact, or believe anything said by the attorney for the people who are suing you.

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Answered on 12/04/08, 4:37 pm
J. Caleb Donner Donner & Donner

Re: I am being Sued

You have 30 days AFTER THE DATE YOU WERE GIVEN THE DOCUMENTS in order to file a responsive pleading in California.

You are not required to file what they gave you.

However, since you are being sued I HIGHLY recommend that you at least consult with an attorney to discuss the case, your options and strategy.

I am located in Westlake Village if you would like to set up a meeting.


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Answered on 12/04/08, 4:45 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: I am being Sued

Your 30 days began when you were served, not when the lawsuit was filed.

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Answered on 12/04/08, 4:57 pm
John D. Williams Law Offices of John D. Williams

Re: I am being Sued

You have 30 days to file a response from the date you were served.

I highly recommend you talk to an attorney.

If you would like a free initial consultation, please call me. I have over 25 years experience in litigation.

Good luck and thank you for your inquiry.

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Answered on 12/04/08, 5:10 pm
Stephen Petix Quinton & Petix

Re: I am being Sued

The other three attorneys who answered are correct in stating that your time to file an answer (or other appropriate response) with the Court did not begin to run until the date you received the summons and complaint. But keep in mind that this means 30 calendar days and not one full month. So, If you were served on Dec. 1st, 2008, and December has 31 days, this means you must file your answer or other responsive pleading with the Court on or before December 31, 2008.

Mr. Stone is also correct in advising you to report the lawsuit to your insurance company, if it is possibly related to any insurance coverage you have in effect. Almost all insurance policies require the insurance co. to provide defense counsel to represent you. Take advantage of that right.

If you do not have insurance relative to the incident that gave rise to this suit, or have any questions after talking to the lawyer assigned by the insur. co., you should contact an independent lawyer in your community for advice. If you don't know one, call your local county bar association. Most have atty referral services.

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Answered on 12/04/08, 5:10 pm
Phillip Lemmons, Esq. Phillip Lemmons APC, Attorneys at Law

Re: I am being Sued

You must respond 30 days from the date of service, and not the date they initially filed the complaint.

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Answered on 12/06/08, 1:51 pm

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