So, what happens when you have a defendant who is difficult to find? You go through a process to hunt him down. That process is longer when the defendant is elusive, but if you do it right, you get a defendant who must answer or you get a default judgment. Either way works for you.
The degree to which high court fees stop people from pursuing legitimate claims and defenses in court is not known. What is known is that filing and other fees are relatively high. While most people can handle simple one-time fees for documents or copying costs, filing and related fees might influence people’s decisions about going to court. That makes them an access to justice problem.
When you’re sued and you want to avoid a default judgment, one of the first things you must do is respond. You can respond in a motion or pleading that essentially says, “Yo! I’m here, and I don’t agree with everything you say,” or “You might be right, but I’m not liable,” or “You can’t sue me because you done screwed everything up.” The first is an answer. The second is an answer and affirmative defenses. The third is a motion to dismiss. Here, we’re concerned with the second, the answer and affirmative defense.
Equitable estoppel, waiver, and ratification all stop a person from reneging on a contract or taking legal action that conflicts with previous conduct or behavior. The three affirmative defenses all prevent someone from going back on their word.
Despite the millions of open legal cases in America’s courts, the average person does not do litigation often. So, it’s not surprising that many myths have formed around real litigation. We present a list of common myths about real court that should be eradicated for the sake of real justice.
Litigation documents are not the first thing the average person thinks about when they hear the term “legal documents”. Wills, deeds, powers of attorney, tax forms, come to mind first. These are legal documents, but they’re not for the purposes of litigation.
Litigation documents are less formulaic and more intimidating than these. Their purpose is to move a lawsuit along. In that sense, they’re more powerful than documents written on pre-printed forms.
A motion to dismiss asks or “moves” a judge to end a case because of deficient claims, improper service of summons, or for some other procedural error. A motion to dismiss will result in (1) a denial of the motion, (2) a dismissal “without prejudice”, allowing the plaintiff to amend the complaint, or (3) a dismissal “with prejudice”, which ends the case. “I didn’t do it” does not satisfy the requirements of a motion to dismiss for the defendant, and a simple “I did it right” might not suffice to keep a complaint afloat. Learn what to look for and address what matters in a motion to dismiss.
Up against a pro se litigant, an experienced attorney can do litigation jiu-jitsu. They can use civil procedure to knock you out early and move on to the next hapless pro se litigant. In some cases, they can fell ten, twenty, even fifty pro se litigants in one day with the help of civil procedure. Don’t let this happen to you.