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How to Answer a Lawsuit

Finn: Sol

This document will help you answer a summons or notice of a lawsuit filed against you.  It should be included IN ADDITION to written answers you will provide to interrogatories (questions directed at you by the people filing the suit and which related to your personal information and the lawsuit itself.)   Pick among these, your case may not relate to some of them below.  This is only a template.

As and for a First Defense

Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff's Complaint and each cause of action therein fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against the Defendant for which relief can be granted.

As and for a Second Defense

Defendant alleges that this action is time-barred under § of the laws of .

As and for a Third Defense

Plaintiff admits to purchasing the defaulted debt allegedly owned by the Defendant, causing Plaintiff's injury to its own self, therefore Plaintiff is barred from seeking relief for damages.

As and for a Fourth Defense

Plaintiff's Complaint violates the statute of Frauds as the purported contract or agreement falls within a class of contracts or agreements required to be in writing. the purported contract or agreement alleged in the Complaint is not in writing and signed by the Defendant or by some other person authorized by the Defendant and who was to answer for the alleged debt, default, or miscarriage of another person.

As and for a Fifth Defense

Defendant claims a Failure of Consideration, as there has never been any exchange of any money or item of value between the plaintiff and the Defendant.

As and for a Sixth Defense

Defendant claims Lack of Privity as Defendant has never entered any contractual or debtor/creditor arrangements with the Plaintiff.

As and for a Seventh Defense

Defendant alleges that the Complaint includes references to alleged agreements made outside of the alleged written contract, violating the Parole Evidence Rule.

As and for an Eighth Defense

Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to allege a valid assignment and there are no averments as to the nature of the purported assignment or evidence of valuable consideration.

As and for a Ninth Defense

Plaintiff's complaint fails to allege whether the purported assignment was partial or complete and there is no evidence that the purported assignment was bona fide.

As and for a Tenth Defense

Plaintiff's Complaint fails to allege that the Assignor even has knowledge of this action or that the Assignor has conveyed all rights and control to the Plaintiff. The record does not disclose this information and it cannot be assumed without creating an unfair prejudice against the Defendant.

As and for an Eleventh Defense

The Plaintiff is not an Assignee for the purported agreement and no evidence appears in the record to support any related assumptions.

As and for a Twelfth Defense

Defendant claims Accord and Satisfaction as Defendant alleges that the original creditor accepted payment from a third party for the alleged debt, or a portion of the alleged debt, or that the original creditor received other compensation in the form of monies and/or credits.

As and for a Thirteenth Defense

Defendant invokes the Doctrine of Unclean Hands as the Defendant alleges that the Plaintiff or the person or entity that assigned the alleged claim to Plaintiff acted in a dishonest or fraudulent manner with respect to the dispute at issue in this case.

As and for a Fourteenth Defense

Plaintiff is not authorized or licensed to advertise or solicit, either in print, by letter, in person or otherwise the right to collect or receive payment of a claim for another, nor to seek to make collection or obtain payment of a claim on behalf of another. The Complaint fails to allege any exception or exemption to these requirements. The Plaintiff is not any of the following: an attorney at law; a person regularly employed on a regular wage or salary in the capacity of credit men or a similar capacity, except as an independent contractor; a bank, including a trust department of a bank, a fiduciary or a financing and lending institution; a common carrier; a title insurer or abstract company while doing an escrow business; a licensed real estate broker; an employee of a licensee; nor a substation payment office employed by or serving as an independent contractor for public utilities.

As and for a Fifteenth Defense

Defendant alleges that Plaintiff's Complaint, and each cause of action therein is barred by the Doctrine of Estoppel, specifically Estoppel in Pais.

As and for a Sixteenth Defense

Defendant alleges that Plaintiff's actions are precluded, whereas Plaintiff's demands for interest are usurious and violate state and federal laws.

As and for a Seventeenth Defense

Defendant alleges that Plaintiff or the person or entity that assigned the alleged claim to the Plaintiff is not entitled to reimbursement of attorneys' fees because the alleged contract did not include such a provision, and there is no law that otherwise allows them.

As and for an Eighteenth Defense

Defendant invokes the Doctrine of Laches as the Plaintiff or the person or entity that assigned the claim to the Plaintiff waited too long to file this lawsuit, making if difficult or impossible for the Defendant to find witnesses or evidence or that evidence necessary to provide for Defendant's defense has been lost or destroyed.

As and for a Nineteenth Defense

Plaintiff has no Fiduciary Duty.

As and for a Twentieth Defense

Plaintiff has failed to name all necessary parties.

As and for a Twenty-first Defense

Plaintiff's alleged damages are the result of acts or omissions committed by non-parties to this action over whom the Defendant has no responsibility or control.

As and for a Twenty-second Defense

Plaintiff's alleged damages are the result of acts or omissions committed by the Plaintiff.

As and for a Twenty-third Defense

Defendant alleges that the granting of the Plaintiff's demand in the Complaint would result in Unjust Enrichment, as the Plaintiff would receive more money than plaintiff is entitled to receive.

As and for a Twenty-fourth Defense

Plaintiff's alleged damages are limited to real or actual damages only.

As and for a Twenty-fifth Defense

Defendant invokes the doctrines of Scienti et volenti non fit injuria (a person who knowledgeably consents to legal wrong has no legal right) and Damnum absque injuria (harm without injury).

As and for a Twenty-sixth Defense

Since under collateral estoppel, once a court has decided an issue of fact or law necessary to its judgment, that decision may preclude relitigating of the issue in a suit on a different cause of action involving a party to the first case, plaintiff’s claims are barred.  We cite case XXXX-XXXX September 2004. 

As and for a Twenty-seventh Defense

Since a court will not grant a judgment or other legal relief to a party who has not acted fairly by having made false representations or concealing material facts from the other party, , we maintain that equitable estoppel bar plaintiff’s claims.

As and for a Twenty-eight Defense

Defendant reserves the right to amend and/or add additional Answers, Defenses and/or Counterclaims at a later date.