How do I answer a complaint Pro Se?

Full Question:

I am attempting to answer a verified complaint (pro se) by a company in FLA (Miami-Dade Civil court). Do I have to answer everything in the complaint, by section and point by point - the sections are: FIrst, the Verified Complaint, then Parties Jurisdiction Venue, Facts, then Count 1, CountII and lastly, Verification? Or, can I simply send a letter explaining why I feel the complaint is unwarranted, and counter claim against the Plaintiff?I also understand that the FLA court system requires the parties to mediate differences. I have not been successful in mediating with the Plaintiff's attorney, thus far. Shall I also answer the complaint stating that they are being unreasonable with their demands?
04/13/2009   |   Category: Civil Actions   |   State: Connecticut   |   #15963


An answer is a legally sufficient response to the allegations that have been alleged against you in the complaint. The answer will generally either admit or deny each claim made by paragraph, or state an inability to admit or deny for lack of knowledge. Defenses may also be raised. A counterclaim or cross claim may also be asserted. A n informal letter is insufficient, a formal pleading is required that follows the format required by the court.

By filing an answer, you have insured that a default judgment will not be entered against you without an opportunity to be heard. A certificate of service is attached to the answer to prove that a copy was delivered to the opposing party(ies). Discovery is the method used to gather information from opposing parties. A request for production is used to obtain documents, such as contracts, that are in the other party's control. A subpeona duces tecum may also be used to require a witness to bring items along at the summoned appearance.

A number of defenses are available to defendants who are sued, depending on the facts involved. For example, a defendant might assert that no breach was committed because the parties never actually formed a contract due to the lack of an offer, an acceptance, consideration, mutuality of obligation, or a writing. Alternatively, a defendant might assert that he or she lacked capacity to enter the contract, arguing that the contract should be declared void on the grounds that the defendant was incompetent, insane or intoxicated at the time it was entered. The law also affords defendants several other defenses in breach of contract actions. They include: (1) unconscionability; (2) mistake; (3) fraud; (4) undue influence; and (5) duress.

Please see the forms at the links below for examples of answers. The precise form of the response will vary by the circumstances in each case, so our forms may be modified to suit your needs.

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