How do you file a written response to a civil summons?

02/07/2007 - Category:Civil Actions - Summons - State: CA #462

Full Question:

How do you file a written response to a summons (civil)? Note: Was served by personal delivery but handed to wrong person (not defendant named) on 10/26/06. No proof of service form attached. What are calendar days? Was it served legally?

Answer:

A complaint is a general statement of the plaintiff's claim.

The complaint must describe the actions that led to the claim of a violation (i.e., violation of rights).

Service of Process involves attaching a copy of the complaint to a summons which is served on the defendant. The summons explains to the defendant what is going on and certain rights that he has:

a. That he is being sued.
b. The name of the Court in which he is being sued.
c. When he must file an answer.
d. The fact that a default judgment will be entered if no answer is filed.

In California, the summons (or process) may be served by any person who is at least 18 years of age and not a party to the action. A summons must normally be served on the individual defendant. Some states allow service on a member of defendant's household if the defendant is not available.

In the answer, the defendant tells his side of the story. He is supposed to admit facts that are true and deny allegations that are not true. Failure to file an answer can result in a default judgment against the defendant. This is a judgment for failure to defend that is entered against the defendant just like there had been a trial.

In California, Section 417.10 of the California Rules of Civil Procedure (CRCP) provides as follows:

Proof that a summons was served on a person within this state shall be made:
(a) If served under Section 415.10, 415.20, or 415.30, by the affidavit of the person making such service showing the time, place, and manner of service and facts showing that such service was made in accordance with this chapter. Such affidavit shall recite or in other manner show the name of the person to whom a copy of the summons and of the complaint were delivered, and, if appropriate, his title or the capacity in which he is served, and that the notice required by Section 412.30 appeared on the copy of the summons served, if in fact it did appear.

Section 415.20 of the CRCP provides:
(a) In lieu of personal delivery of a copy of the summons and complaint to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.10, 416.20, 416.30, 416.40, or 416.50, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint during usual office hours in his or her office or, if no physical address is known, at his or her usual mailing address, other than a United States Postal Service post office box, with the person who is apparently in charge thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and complaint by first-class mail, postage prepaid to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and complaint were left. When service is effected by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at a mailing address, it shall be left with a person at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing.

(b) If a copy of the summons and complaint cannot with reasonable diligence be personally delivered to the person to be served, as specified in Section 416.60, 416.70, 416.80, or 416.90, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at the person's dwelling house, usual place of abode, usual place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, in the presence of a competent member of the household or a person apparently in charge of his or her office, place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint by first-class mail, postage prepaid to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and complaint were left. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing.



Please see the information at the following links: Please see the forms at the following links:

02/07/2007 - Category: Summons - State: CA #462

See more Questions in the Summons Category