Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck
Ya, we usually go down and play Anaconda Hills and some other random course on the way up or down.
It only matters whether she can find a lawyer willing to file the suit. I think only a judge can throw it out.
Apparently the defendant has the option of filing counter motions to dismiss long before seeing a judge which is appaently the last option.
The progress of a lawsuit
The following is a generalized description of how a lawsuit may proceed in a common law jurisdiction:
[edit (external - login to view)] Pleading
Main article: Pleading (external - login to view)
A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court. This complaint will state that one or more plaintiffs is seeking damages or equitable relief (external - login to view)
from one or more stated defendants, and will identify the legal and factual bases for doing so. It is important that the "plaintiff selects the proper venue with the proper jurisdiction to bring his lawsuit." The clerk of a court signs or stamps the court seal upon a summons (external - login to view)
, which is then served (external - login to view)
by the plaintiff upon the defendant, together with a copy of the complaint. This service notifies the defendants that they are being sued and that they have a specific time limit to file a response. By providing a copy of the complaint, the service also notifies the defendants of the nature of the claims. Once the defendants are served with the summons and complaint, they are subject to a time limit to file an answer (external - login to view)
stating their defenses to the plaintiff's claims, including any challenges to the court's jurisdiction, and any counterclaims they wish to assert against the plaintiff.
In a handful of jurisdictions (notably, the U.S. state (external - login to view)
of New York (external - login to view)
) a lawsuit begins when one or more plaintiffs properly serve a summons and complaint upon the defendant(s). In such jurisdictions, nothing needs to be filed with the court until a dispute develops requiring actual judicial intervention.
If the defendant chooses to file an answer within the time permitted, he/she must respond to each of the plaintiffs' allegations by admitting the allegation, denying it, or pleading a lack of sufficient information to admit or deny the allegation. Some jurisdictions, like California, still authorize general denials of each and every allegation in the complaint. At the time he files an answer, the defendant will also raise all "affirmative" defenses he may have. He may also assert any counterclaims for damages or equitable relief against the plaintiff, and in the case of "compulsory counterclaims," must do so or risk having the counterclaim barred in any subsequent proceeding. The defendant may also file a "third party complaint (external - login to view)
" in which he seeks to join another party or parties in the action if he believes those parties may be liable for some or all of the plaintiff's damages. Filing an answer "joins the cause" and moves the case into the pre-trial phase.
Instead of filing an answer within the time specified in the summons, the defendant can choose to dispute the validity of the complaint by filing a demurrer (external - login to view)
(in the handful of jurisdictions where that is still allowed) or one or more "pre-answer motions," such as a motion to dismiss. The motion must be filed within the time period specified in the summons for an answer. If all such motions are denied by the trial court, and the defendant loses on all appeals from such denials (if that option is available), then the defendant must
file an answer.
Usually the pleadings (external - login to view)
are drafted by a lawyer (external - login to view)
, but in many courts persons can file papers and represent themselves, which is called appearing pro se (external - login to view)
. Many courts have a pro se clerk (external - login to view)
to assist people without lawyers.