How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court[yoast-breadcrumb]
How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court
Hey there! If you’ve been served with a summons and complaint in Kings County Supreme Court, don’t panic. Filing an answer is easier than you think. This article will walk you through the process, so take a deep breath and grab a cup of coffee – we’ve got you covered.First things first – what exactly is an answer? Basically, it’s your written response to the complaint. It confirms whether you admit or deny the allegations and outlines any affirmative defenses you may have.Now onto the nitty gritty details! Here’s a step-by-step guide to filing your civil answer:
Step 1: Review the Summons and Complaint
Carefully read through the summons and complaint. Make sure you understand what the plaintiff is alleging and what they want from you (this is called the “relief requested”). The complaint has to follow certain rules – it needs to describe the legal basis for each claim and provide specific facts, dates, and details. If you don’t think it meets these requirements, you may be able to file a motion to dismiss.
Step 2: Determine Your Defenses
An answer allows you to respond to each allegation and raise defenses. Some common defenses include:
- Statute of limitations – The claim is too old
- Failure to state a claim – Their complaint is missing key elements
- Unclean hands – The plaintiff did something wrong too
Think about what evidence you have to support any defenses. You’ll need to explain the defenses in your answer.
Step 3: Decide What to Admit or Deny
Go through each allegation and determine whether you will admit it, deny it, or state that you lack sufficient information to admit or deny it. You have to respond to each allegation individually.
- Admit – You agree with the allegation
- Deny – You disagree and can prove it’s not true
- Lack sufficient information – You need more details to respond
Make sure you have evidence to back up any denials.
Step 4: Draft Your Answer
There’s no one right format – your answer just needs to contain certain elements:
- Caption with court, parties, index number
- Responses to each allegation
- Any affirmative defenses
- Signature and date
I like to organize it like:Introduction
Responses to Allegations
ConclusionKeep your responses short and to the point. You’ll provide more details later if needed.
Step 5: Add the Verification
You need to sign the verification page swearing that the contents of your answer are true. Get this page notarized.
Step 6: Make Copies
Make two extra copies – one for your records and one to serve on the plaintiff.
Step 7: File with the Court
Take the original answer and file it with the Kings County Clerk’s office. It costs $45 to file unless you get a fee waiver.You have 20-30 days from the date you were served to file, depending on how you were served. Don’t miss this deadline!
Step 8: Serve the Plaintiff
You have to deliver a copy of the answer to the plaintiff. This is called service of process.You can’t serve it yourself – ask a friend or hire a process server. Get an affidavit of service as proof it was served.Make sure to serve it before the deadline too!
Step 9: Wait for a Response
Now you wait to see how the plaintiff responds. They may file a reply addressing your defenses.If they don’t respond to your defenses, you can file a motion asking for judgment on those issues.
Step 10: Consider Settlement
Filing an answer buys you some time. Many cases settle after the initial documents are exchanged. Think about whether settlement makes sense for you.
What Happens Next?
After you file your answer, the case proceeds to the discovery phase. This is when each side gathers evidence through documents, interrogatories, depositions, and more.The court will schedule conferences to deal with any discovery disputes and help keep the case moving. Most cases end in either settlement or trial. It can take months or even years depending on the court’s calendar.
Tips for Filing Your Answer
- Seek legal advice if you’re unsure about anything.
- Be truthful – don’t deny allegations you know are true.
- Stick to relevant facts. Don’t include extraneous details.
- Organize your documents and keep copies of everything.
- If you miss the deadline, you may be able to file a late answer with a reasonable excuse. But don’t delay!
- Keep your emotions in check when responding. Be professional.
We know legal paperwork can be confusing and stressful. But filing an answer doesn’t have to be scary. Just take it step-by-step. And reach out if you need help – that’s what we’re here for! Let us know if you have any other questions.