P16 – How to Respond to Lawsuits 0:02 Hi, everybody, This is John Jay, and I wanted to go over a very basic methods of responding to a lawsuit. 0:08 This applies to individuals that have been sued. 0:14 Maybe a company was sued along with the individual. 0:18 If the company has been sued, …

P16 – How to Respond to Lawsuits
Hi, everybody, This is John Jay, and I wanted to go over a very basic methods of responding to a lawsuit.
This applies to individuals that have been sued.
Maybe a company was sued along with the individual.
If the company has been sued, there’s other methods you need to take other other actions you should take to protect whatever interests you would have in that organization so that you don’t have to have an attorney represented. We could talk about that in a different segment.
But I just wanted to talk about being sued personally, whether it’s a credit card debt or some sort of personal guarantee you made, anything pretty much any civil suit.
And there are versions of this, but basically I want to I want you to understand some basic concepts So that it’s not terrifying when you get a piece of paper with words on it, OK. I don’t care if the sheriff delivers it to your house or whatever.
I know nobody likes to see that, but, uh, it’s just a piece of paper, OK?
So, let’s, let’s start here. We have so many days to answer and writing, alas it, you have to answer in writing.
It doesn’t, the day start counting the day after you get served.
So you get served on Monday, the time starts ticking on Tuesday.
Typically you have 20 days, up to 30 days to respond, sometimes 60 days.
Usually it’s 20 days if it’s A in eviction. Yeah, five days, those are really unusual.
Basically, you have five days answering within 30 days you have a trial, so that’s a whole different battlefield.
But when it comes to is someone suing you for money?
If you’re already protected, then you can really ignore these.
If you’re not, or you’re not sure, you can buy yourself time by moving the court to dismiss the case instead of answering the case when you answer, and you admitted denied the allegations.
You’re actually in court.
When you move the court to dismiss and not file an answer, instead, you just moved to dismiss.
You’re telling the court that you’re only appearing for the special purpose of asking the court to dismiss the case.
And that, for whatever reason, the case shouldn’t proceed, right?
So this is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna go over this.
So if you look where I’m highlighting here, what we have is an example motion to dismiss, and you’re gonna have variations of this Where I’ve highlighted light in the top two lines.
In the court, justice, county, name, county, state or whatever. You can fill that in.
You’ll be able to, you’ll be able to see what that should be by looking at the actual complaint you received.
Sometimes the summons will show you the name of the court, OK.
This is called the Court title.
And then just below that, you’re going to have this section where it’s kind of blocked off.
The case number is on the right, the plaintiff is on the top, V stands for versus sometimes as VS period, and then you’ve got the name of the defendant or defendant.
You’ll have to adjust it accordingly, and then, usually, courts require a notice of appearance separate from the actual motion. You can combine them together. I mean, I made them separately here.
So, basically, you’re saying, Hey, everybody, take notice I’m making an appearance, but it’s only for the special purpose of moving the court to dismiss the case.
You see, that’s the language here, that’s all we’re saying.
All right, and then we have to date it.
And it’s so important that you sign.
Somebody has to sign, it should be the defendants’ signature, and sometimes you have to copy this down, like, I’m going to do here.
If there are, right, see that? If there are two defendants’, you’ll have to adjust that.
And if we scroll down, in Course, we could just, once we correct the caption the right way, we can actually copy that, and come down.
Here we copy on top of here, and abracadabra, we get ourselves a whole caption now, right.
And I, sometimes, I have to space this, so it doesn’t put the signature line by itself, and on a single page. I like to mix them together.
So you can do however you want, but I call it either a motion to dismiss, or sometimes I call it, a verified motion to dismiss.
If you put verified motion to dismiss, you’ll have to add a little verification in here, it says defendant.
Nearby, verify the statements here in our made in good faith, and not for purposes of delay or arrest, or to earn necessarily.
Increase the cost of litigation total BS.
That’s what it looks like. All right?
Can center it and all that stuff.
We can bold, it, doesn’t matter, OK?
Here’s a generic legal argument: This one happened to be done, and I forget what state it was in.
So, what I did here is, I pulled the rule and that from the rules of civil procedure in that particular state, I can’t remember that requires documents alleged in the complaint to be included as exhibits. So, here’s how we make this legal argument. This is my version of a legal argument.
I came to it many years ago after lots of research and I concluded that this was and it has been actually the most effective way to try to get a complaint dismissed.
Now, even if this motion is granted, which is unusual, even though it’s properly going, it is probably written, is correct.
The plaintiff will be given so much time to amend the Pleating now, sometimes you can win because sometimes the plaintiff won’t amend the pleading and if that happens will then That’s it, it’s over, OK.
All right.
What I’m saying here is that I want the Court to dismiss the case because that complaint failed to state a cause of action or a claim on which relief can be granted.
In other words, the court lacks the authority to grant any relief requested by the plaintiff.
Because the pleating is insufficient, that’s what you’re saying here.
And then you have to tell him why, why is it insufficient?
Well, here’s why.
The exhibits that were attached to the complaint are not those that are alleged in the complaint.
Now, this, this argument has two parts.
So I’m saying that The exhibits, I give an example, credit card lawsuit, right?
When ever does Citibank include a copy of your credit card agreement with your signature on it, We don’t do things that way today. They don’t keep those kinds of records.
All they have is an example version of a credit card agreement, and then they have the copies of your statements, And they think that’s enough to establish an obligation, where there’s no evidence of the expression of your will otherwise, right?
So, if you don’t know how to fight it, they’re gonna go off pieces of paper and prove that you borrow the money, so to speak.
So, what we’re going to say in the very beginning, is, that these exhibits that are alleged in the complaint, like such as the credit card agreement, are not attached, Here’s why.
Even if it has your signature on there, that’s not the agreement that you signed Maybe it’s a fabrication of it. Maybe it’s a copy. Maybe it’s true and correct, we don’t know. We need a trial with testimony. We need cross-examine witnesses, right, The kids real expensive. We do this stuff the right way, but we’re not going to have to do it the right way. The plaintiff doesn’t have to proceed a certain way if you just don’t argue these points, so it’s important to bring this up. Is called due process, you have a right to be heard, right. The plaintiff has the burden of proof.
So here’s the second part of this.
Not only were the exhibit’s alleged in the complaint, not the ones attached, OK, to demonstrate the allegations, the factual allegations.
The actual exhibits tell a different story.
It tells a different story.
It tells that maybe somebody somewhere maybe borrowed some money, but that’s not direct evidence showing you that it was the defendant yourself, that borrow the money, OK?
So, that’s the legal argument here, assuming that everything in the complaint is true, which is what you have to do here, when you file a motion to dismiss, everything has to be assumed as true. All the allegations have to be assumed to be true.
And then, you’re simply saying, Taken them at face value.
Still, the exhibit’s tell a different story.
So, therefore, the allegations conflict with the Exhibits one and two the exhibit’s attached are not those alleged in the complaint.
See, two parts: It’s all here.
All right. So then legal memorandum basically is your authority. So here’s the very basic you can do. You can go online and search for the rules of civil procedure for your state, you can find some case law, too, if you’re inclined. And so what the case law, you’re gonna find is under the key phrase, if you do Google searches, right, we don’t do case law research today.
We go to Google.
So, you go on Google and you search on exhibits conflict with the pleating.
All right, are versions of that phrase: exhibits conflict with the pleating, you should find some somewhere, some citations, or something from a legal journal, or whatever, or some lawyer published it.
And if not, so what don’t stress over, because you’re still making a legal argument, you don’t really need a memorandum.
The judges know, OK.
And I know we, we kinda should do this, but don’t stress over here. So here’s what I did. In this case, I didn’t feel like looking for the actual case law. So I just found the rule. Now, if I wanted to, I could shepherdess the rule and I’m not going to go into that, which jeopardize means.
But I could find an annotation for the rule and find case citations that explain how this rule works if I wanted to.
All right, so it says here in Rule 708, any pleading that refers to an exhibit has to include the exhibit, right?
So I don’t have to respond to it according to the rule if it’s not attached. So I’m gonna respond to it, and I’m gonna say, I want it.
I want the case dismissed, right, Because the exhibits aren’t there. And they also the ones they that they didn’t include were conflicting with the allegations, right?
So, all I did was cite this simple rule. And that’s it. That’s my legal authority. We call that a legal memorandum. And then over here is a legal argument.
In here, you’re saying the court doesn’t have jurisdiction, so first paragraph, you’re saying, Court doesn’t have jurisdiction. Second paragraph, you’re saying why? And third, you’re saying, Here’s my legal authority for telling you that.
And also, I’m saying, Hey, look, I’m gonna verify that I’m not gonna, I’m not writing this and filing it to cause delay.
Which is total BS because that’s what we’re doing.
But, hey, can I take things at face value, right?
And then we just ask for defense request an order dismissing the case And sign it.
That’s the most important thing if you don’t sign this or it doesn’t look like some scribble is on there, anything anybody can sign it OK? And your uncle Bob can sign up for you. It doesn’t matter. Let’s say you’re out of town and you only have a few days to answer. You can have anybody in town print this thing up, edit it. You can edit it form on a computer somewhere. while you’re on vacation, maybe in the e-mail back and you can have them printed out, you can sign your name and mail it. You’re never going to challenge them, it’s going to be accepted, right?
So don’t stress over that, either, But the date.
No, and I tried to mail this first class mail, OK, Make sure the clerk of the court gets it.
And the attorney gets it. Now, this is the important thing to remember.
Clerk of the court must get it, whether you walk it in there and mail it.
First: class mail is sufficient. You’re not going to need to do certified.
If you can sleep better at night, because you want to do certified, that’s fine.
Spend some more money, that’s fine.
Do it at least a few days before the time limit. Before your 20 days, don’t go to the 20th day now. You can’t answer a complaint late. You can be a month late. I’m not going to teach you how to do that.
Maybe I’ll do another video explaining what to do if you’re in that situation, but don’t try to be in that situation. All right?
So the most important thing is you have to sign this thing, or it has to look like you sign it, because if you don’t, the judge will strike it. He’ll ignore it and you’ll get a default.
So, it’s very important. So, here’s the most important: that’s just as important, that goes with this.
There has to be a certificate of Service, meaning that you have to certify that you mailed it, That’s what we’re doing here with this page, too.
A Certificate of Service is actually pitch three certificate of service so you’re saying I hereby certify that a true and correct copy, the foregoing was duly served upon the named plaintiff by its attorney for and through first class mail.
OK, it’s not the law firm, do not name the law firm here, that is not an Attorney.
law firms, are not legally permitted to represent anyone in court.
It’s actually a crime for a law firm to represent anybody in court.
Only an individual attorney can can represent someone, so you have to go look at the complaint, and see who’s signed it.
There will be an attorney, and if you disguised his name. So you can’t figure it out. The name, the general partner of the law firm or Google, or something, or go look at the clerks records and see who the attorney of record is. It’s an individual attorney.
All right, his name has to go here. Her name has to go here.
And then his address or her address has to go here, and then it’s on the date that you mail it, now that’s the important date.
All right?
So put the date that you get a mail it that you think it’s going to be postmarked for.
If you if you put today’s date and you postmarked for tomorrow, that’s just fine.
You can even go 2 or 3 days. No problem. Don’t try to post Margaret for a week previous, though. I mean, don’t date it and then postmark it a week later. It’s not going to fly.
That certificate has to be valid.
And if you do not initial it, it will not be as if you didn’t include the certificate.
If you don’t include the certificate, you may as well just not do anything, because none of this will work, All right, and all ignore it and strike it in whatever. You won’t even have a defense, and that’s how important it is.
Now, I know that in courts, like California, California has its own answer form, you can use this form. I think there’s some formal requirements for California pleadings, I mean, it needs lined paper. And stuff. I don’t I’m not going to show you that here. I mean, I’m, I upload it later on, and it’s the same process.
The problem with California is you have to pay a substantial fee to file something.
So, what I try to do is protect the individual that I’m helping, without having to deal with the court, because it doesn’t make sense to waste money in filing fees, unless you’re gonna get a real substantial delay or something like that, or it’s necessary, very few times it’s necessary.
All right. So this document, I’m looking at the last page now.
You see, here’s an order. It’s actually a proposed order. We’re actually asking the judge to sign this. Now.
We’re going to have also make sure your captions corrected, your court title and your caption, the case number. Sometimes you don’t see the case number. Sometimes you may call the clerk and ask.
If not, that’s OK. The clerk is not supposed to rejected if there’s no case number on there.
All right. Don’t let him tell you that.
Don’t let them tell you anything.
In fact, if you filed the thing in person with the clerk, don’t act like you’re the defendant Walk in there and file it without acting like you’re asking questions.
Just file it and say, have a nice day.
You don’t talk to the clerk about this.
If the clerk tries to ask you anything, just say, I don’t know I’m the runner, Which means, basically, you’re the delivery person, and the clerk will know what that means. And you don’t have to do and just walk away. And the clerk will take it.
So if you’ll notice the language here. Basically, you’re saying some formal stuff.
The judge having been you know apprised of the facts hereby orders and the judges either grants it or he denies the motion, OK?
And He’s gonna date it so you don’t you don’t do that. Here’s a spot for the judge.
You don’t sign anything there make sure the your name and address are here and the attorney’s name and addresses here all right the individualist hering not the law firm.
Don’t even mention the law firm.
You can slide this order in before the certificate of service. So so really you’ve got the first page of your response is going to be this notice of appearance. Your second page is going to be verified motion.
It’s going to continue on your signature page, Page three, OK, then, your fourth page will be the certificate of service, and then you can have the last pages, the order. Now, you can reverse those two.
You can put the order, and then the certificate of service, It doesn’t matter, because the clerk is going to open the envelope, and scan into the computer. And I don’t know what she does with the rest of it.
And who cares if you send it to the attorney all mixed up, by the way? So, it makes you feel better. You can mix it all up and send it to the attorney if you want.
Doesn’t matter.
All right.
So, that’s the idea, OK? So, what this does is it.
It stops the proceeding, you actually non chord. You’ve actually stopped the case now, a moving party. This is you.
When you file a motion to the court, you are already moving party.
If there’s a filing fee, make sure you’ve paid it or get a waiver, sometimes, of course, your waiver, if you’re willing to fill out an affidavit, you can ask for that.
If it’s 20 bucks, you know, it’s up to you, 50 bucks. Maybe I’ll let, Steve. I don’t know.
You decide.
I would always try for the waiver. I was recommending I don’t care if you’re rich. Always strive for the waiver.
Tell the truth on the affidavits. Oh, by the way.
All right. So that stops the case.
Now, I’m moving party is really supposed to be the one that sets a hearing date.
but don’t.
Don’t be a good soldier and try to do it the right way.
Make those idiots set the hearing date, so what will happen is because attorneys are not used to dealing with people that know how to respond.
There’ll be a motion to dismiss in response to the complaint, you know, have been filed timely, you know, within the time limits.
It will show up and the clerks what’s called a Darkening Sheet, which is a list of all the things that have been filed in the case.
All right, that will stop the case from proceeding and then it’s up to the attorney to figure out that she responded.
So, hopefully he’s following the case. If not, we’ll then this thing, I’ll sit there for months. I’ve seen them sit there for months and months. So you just wait until the attorney sets a hearing.
He’s supposed to set a hearing if you don’t.
So you might get a hearing notice, They’re supposed to co-ordinate the hearing date with you.
And they’re supposed to give you at least three days, if not 10 or 20 days advance, notice of the hearing.
Alright. So maybe you might want to check with the clerk every week and see if something’s been scheduled without you being noticed first. Right. Because sometimes the attorneys will schedule it, and they’ll drop it in the mail that day before the hearing and you’ll get it the day after the hearing.
And they hope you don’t show up, because then your emotional get denied automatically.
It’s not a default situation, by the way, but I have seen some judges grant default on their own motion.
If you don’t go to the motion to dismiss hearings, sometimes you care, sometimes you don’t, but that’s not proper, so it’s up to you. I mean, it depends on how important it is.
So, I would plan on going to the hearing and, again, when you go to the hearing, find out who the attorney is.
And if he’s not the same attorney that shows up at the hearing to argue the case, if he’s not the same attorney that signed the pleading, Argue that the attorney has not filed a proper notice of appearance and he’s not the attorney of record and make that argument first.
OK, and stick to that argument.
Keep pushing the judge, all right. Then you can move on to the motion, make your legal argument judge. I read this complaint carefully.
And for the life of me, I don’t see where the exhibits alleged in the complaint are attached to these aren’t the exhibits alleging the complaint. I didn’t agree to these terms. Who would agree to these terms are nuts?
All right, make your second argument saying furthermore, Your Honor, If you look at the face of the exhibits in the language and the exhibits those conflict with what’s alleged in the pleading they tell a whole different story, Your Honor.
Now I don’t know exactly what’s your specific cases. I don’t think you have to go too far into detail, but I want you to get a heads up a lead and that’s how you make the argument. If you wanted to be more specific, you need to read your documents and come up with something.
I’m sorry, I can’t tell you, because I don’t now have your case in front of me.
But this is what you do, Right?
And you just, you make the argument now, remember this when you go to the hearing do not discuss anything but this motion. Do not talk about whether or not you had the account. If you made any payments, if you bought stuff with the credit card or whatever, do not discuss it if the if the judge wants to ask you those questions said, well, Your Honor. I’m not prepared to talk about the merits of the case today. I wasn’t noticed that we’re going to do that. This is a motion hearing on my motion to dismiss, and if you want to discuss the merits of the case, then I’m more than happy to set a pretrial conference or a trial.
And let’s complete discovery first, and that’s what you tell them.
And he knows you’ll be correct in any state, you’ll be correct.
And that’s it. And then you ask him for a ruling.
And if he, if he does some wishy washy thing like, I’ll take it under advisement, Say, Your honor, with all due respect, why not just make a ruling now? What do you think?
Should you give the plaintiff a chance to amend the pleating and grant my emotion, or should you just deny my motion and give me 20 days to file a written answer?
And that’s it.
Just stand there and look at them, or her, whatever.
See if you can get them to commit.
All right.
That’s, that’s fair.
So that’s the nuts and bolts of it. Don’t be scared. It’s a piece of paper with words on it. All you care about is what they can do with that piece of paper because eventually they can get permission from the judge to levy your property.
So, what you want to do is with this motion to dismiss, it might add 90, 180 days to the case where you can get your affairs in order so that you can move properly and things like that and don’t be scared about being accused of a fraudulent conveyance That’s never happened that I’ve ever seen.
I’ve seen thousands of cases, no one ever does that, and by the way, it’s not a fraudulent conveyance. So, try and re-organize how you do your banking. If you have an interest in real estate, you can protect it with equity stripping or getting over the title, the Care Fund, you know, those 2, 2 different different options.
There’s some things to consider like homestead exemption and things like that.
Also, your mortgage terms, so just be careful about that.
But anyways, that’s the idea.
You want to not be afraid, you want to hit him right between the eyes with a really good argument, has some teeth, It’s very logical, it’s very reasonable.
And see what happens, right? And then, don’t care. Don’t care what happens if you still need more time. If the motion is denied or whatever, then file an answer and make the same argument and make it as an affirmative defense. So in your answer, and we’ll talk about this later, in your answer, you would just deny each and every allegation. You say, As to this allegation, I deny it, and so forth.
And then, in another section of the answer, you have it called the affirmative defenses, and then you express your defense and you basically, I would copy and paste this right here.
All right here, write my legal memo and my legal argument that goes in my affirmative defense, if I have to file an answer wildlife final answer. I also began discovery. I’m not going to get into that right now.
There’s a strategy. I’ll I’ll outline it for you in another video.
All right, So there you go now. You’re an expert.


1. John Jay discusses the basics of responding to a lawsuit, especially for individuals who have been sued, either personally or in connection with a company.
2. He emphasizes that upon receiving a lawsuit, an individual typically has between 20 to 60 days to respond, starting the day after being served.
3. Jay suggests that one way to buy time when uncertain or unprotected is to move the court to dismiss the case, rather than answering the allegations.
4. When moving to dismiss, the individual is asking the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that the case lacks substance or the court lacks authority to grant the relief requested by the plaintiff.
5. Jay explains the court documents and how to correct the caption and the court title. He insists on the importance of signing the document and mailing it to both the court clerk and the attorney.
6. He discusses how to construct a legal argument, emphasizing that it should clearly state why the lawsuit is insufficient.
7. Jay stresses the importance of service, indicating that the documents must be sent by first-class mail, and a certificate of service should be included to confirm that the documents were duly served.
8. The legal argument made should revolve around the fact that the exhibits attached to the complaint do not align with the allegations made in the complaint.
9. He recommends not scheduling the hearing date oneself, but letting the other party do it. It is crucial to check with the court clerk regularly to see if a hearing has been scheduled.
10. During the hearing, the focus should be on the motion to dismiss and the inconsistencies in the complaint and its exhibits, without delving into the specifics of the alleged case.

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