<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Djournaliz:
I received a summons (not in person and 30 days after stamped date) which I'm supposed to reply to in a typewritten 'proper legal form.' What exactly is proper legal form and how do I begin to write this thing? It's from a collection agency. Please help ASAP!! Thank you =)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Here you go. The following is a proper example of an Answer to a California Debt Collection Complaint. Copy the following to your wordprocessor, put in all of your specific information - - court name, your name, the plaintiff's name, the case number, and fill out the proof of service (last page). Then, recheck it for errors.
Then, mail a copy to the Plaintiff's Attorney's Law Office, make a copy for yourself, and take the original, signed version to the court for filing, along with another copy of the first page for "conforming" with the civil clerk. Pay the clerk your filing fee.
Also, wherever you see JOHN DOE ATTORNEY, put your name there, and then after your name, In Propria Persona.
You can thank me later . . . right now, you've got a lot of work to do.
Also, when you go to the court to file this, ask for Form Interrogatories from the Clerk so you can serve those to the plaintiff. Just get the Form Rogs, and come back here and we'll go over it together.
Let me know how this part goes for you, however.
LAW OFFICES OF JOHN DOE ATTORNEY
JOHN DOE ATTORNEY, ESQ. (Bar #XXXXX)
Reseda, California 91436-1222
Attorney for Defendant:
JUDITH G. DEBTOR
MUNICIPAL COURT OF THE VAN NUYS JUDICIAL DISTRICT
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
SEARS, ROEBUCK & COMPANY, a New York Corporation,
JUDITH G. DEBTOR, and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive,
)Case No.: XXXXXXXX
DEFENDANT JUDITH G. DEBTOR'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF SEARS, ROEBUCK & COMPANY’S COMPLAINT
(Filed Concurrently with Cross-Complaint, under C.C.P. §396)
Defendant, JUDITH G. DEBTOR, for herself alone and for no other defendant herein, answering the purported unverified complaint of Plaintiff, SEARS, ROEBUCK & COMPANY, on file herein, admits, denies and alleges as follows:
1. In answer to the purported verified complaint on file herein and by virtue of the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure §§431.30 (b) and 92(b), Defendant JUDITH G. DEBTOR now files a general denial to said complaint and, answering all of the allegations of the said complaint, this answering Defendant, JUDITH G. DEBTOR, denies, generally and specifically, each and every allegation contained therein, and the whole thereof.
2. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Defendant JUDITH G. DEBTOR denies, generally and specifically, that Plaintiff was injured or damaged in the alleged manner or sum or sums, or at all, by reason of the acts, omissions, or representations on the part of this answering defendant.
FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(Failure to State a Cause of Action)
3. Neither the complaint nor any of the purported causes of action, or allegations, set forth therein states a cause of action against this answering Defendant.
SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(Statute of Limitations)
4. Plaintiff's claims are barred by the applicable statutes of limitations, including without limitation Code of Civil Procedure Sections 337, 338, 339, 340, 343, and 361.
THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
5. Any damage or loss sustained by Plaintiff was proximately caused by the affirmative acts, errors, omissions and/or negligence of Plaintiff, and therefore Plaintiff is responsible for any such damage or loss in whole or in part. As a result, Plaintiff's recovery is barred or must be reduced or diminished by application of the principles of contributory and comparative negligence.
FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
6. Any damage or loss sustained by Plaintiff was proximately caused by the intervening acts or omissions of third parties over whom this answering Defendant had no direction or control and not by any act or omission of this answering Defendant. Any amount that Plaintiff might be entitled to recover against this answering Defendant must be reduced by the amount of damage attributable to the intervening acts and/or omissions of such third parties.
FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
7. That plaintiff is estopped from asserting the allegations contained in the complaint, or from otherwise asserting any right to relief against this answering defendant by reasons of its own acts, omissions, representations, and/or course of conduct, and that of it’s representatives and agents, upon which this answering defendant was led to rely to it’s detriment.
SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
8. That the complaint herein is unenforceable in that the plaintiff and/or it’s agents have voluntarily, expressly, or impliedly, waived each and all of the purported rights and claims and causes of action contained therein as alleged against this answering defendant.
SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
9. That plaintiff has lost any right to relief against this answering defendant through laches, in that plaintiff has failed to take timely action to assert it’s rights, if any, and that this delay has caused substantial prejudice to this answering defendant.
EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
10. That Plaintiff is barred from asserting each and every of the purported causes of action or of otherwise asserting any rights against this answering defendant by reason of the inequitable acts of, conduct, or omissions of the plaintiff, or it’s agents, which amount to unclean hands.
NINTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
11. Plaintiff has failed to plead facts showing that it has suffered any cognizable damages.
TENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(Failure to Mitigate)
12. Plaintiff has failed to take any reasonable and necessary steps to mitigate its damages, if any, and, to the extent of such failure to mitigate, any damages awarded to Plaintiff must be reduced accordingly.
ELEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(No Recovery of Unreasonable Attorneys' Fees)
13. Plaintiff may not recover as damages attorneys' fees that are not reasonable in relation to the services allegedly performed.
TWELFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(No Recovery of Attorneys' Fees Or Other Expenses in This Action)
14. Plaintiff has alleged no basis for recovering its attorneys' fees or other expenses in prosecuting the main action or defending any cross-complaint.
THIRTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(Action Barred by Statute of Frauds)
15. The contract alleged in plaintiff's complaint is unenforceable in that it is neither written nor evidenced by some note or memorandum signed by defendant as required by the provisions of Section 1624(a) of the Civil Code.
FOURTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(Assumption of the Risk)
16. That any damages, injuries, or losses allegedly sustained by plaintiff, were caused risks of which it was well aware, and understood, and voluntarily assumed unto itself.
FIFTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(Intervening and superseding cause)
17. That the damages, injuries, or losses alleged by plaintiff, if any, were proximately caused, or contributed to by the negligent or other actionable conduct of persons or entities other than by this answering defendant, and that such negligent or other actionable conduct is an intervening and superseding cause of the damages and losses of which plaintiff complains.
SIXTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
(Misconduct of others)
18. That the damages alleged in the complaint, if any, were proximately caused by the acts and/or omissions of persons, entities and/or instrumentalities other than this answering defendant, an