Answer to Summons

  A civil lawsuit can be intiated by filing a Complaint or a Petition with the appropriate Court, once filed, the Petitioner or the plaintiff notifies the defendant about the lawsuit by serving them with the complaint or petition and summons. If the defendant or respondent is in desagreement with any portion of the lawsuit, they must file a document called an "Answer" within the time deadline. The answer is the defendant's chance to agree or disagree with each of the plaintiff's statements, to make any affirmative defenses, or to raise a counterclaim.

  If the defendant or respondent does not file an answer or an appropriate motion within that time, the plaintiff may ask the court to enter a judgment by default. A default judgment means the plaintiff or petitioner wins, and the defendant doesn't get the chance to tell their side of the story. In the Answer the defendant must admit or deny the statements from the complaint in simple and short sentences. If the defendant is without information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of a statement from the complaint, the defendant must state so, and this has the effect of a denial. If the defendant denies a statement from the complaint, the denial must fairly meet the substance of the statement. If the defendantís answer doesn't deny a statement, the defendant is deemed to have admitted to it.

  If you need to file an Answer to a civil Complaint or Petition we can prepare it for you. The workbook that allow us to gather the necessary information can be found here. Simply fill it out with as much information as possible and bring it or send it to our office. The timeframe to prepare this documment is usually 2-3 days.

Small Claims

  A small claims case must be filed in the justice court where the defendant resides or where the events took place. If the defendant resides or the claim arose within a city and if the city has a justice court, file the case in the municipal justice court. If the city has no justice court, file the case in the county justice court. If the defendant resides or the claim arose in an unincorporated county, file the case in the county justice court.

  If there is no municipal or county justice court, file the case in the district court. Cache County is the only county that does not have a county justice court, so filing in district court should occur only in cases there. There are several cities (and one county) that have a justice court by means of an inter-local agreement with another city or county. This means that there is no actual courthouse in that city or county, but legally the court still exists, and that affects where to file.

  Small claims cases are designed to recover money, and claims cannot exceed the jurisdictional limit. The defendant must owe the debt to the plaintiff or viceversa on a counter affidavit. Small claims cases cannot be used to sue a government entity, to sue for possession of property, to evict a tenant or to recover an assigned claim. To iniciate a small claim case, you nned to file an Affidavit and Summons, which must be served on the defendant at least 30 days before the trial date. The plaintiff cannot serve the Affidavit and Summons himself or herself, but must have the documents served on the defendant by some other person 18 or older who is not a party to the case or a party's attorney. Usually a sheriff, constable or private investigator serves the Affidavit and Summons, then that person will complete and file with the court a Proof of Service form.

  In order to prepare the Affidavit and Summons, we will need a description or narrative of the events: What happened, When, Where, How much is the amount you are suing for, name and address of the defendant, etc. Give us as much detail as possible and attach any relevant document such as an invoice or a contract.