What to do if sued

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
A lawsuit is a method by which persons resolve a dispute. If you have been sued, a person or entity, the plaintiff, is requesting the assistance of a court in resolving a dispute they have with you, the defendant. The paperwork notifying you that you are being sued is called a summons. The summons will explain how to respond, how long you have to respond, and to where the response must be made. Whether or not you believe the lawsuit is fair or valid, it is vital that you act on the summons. If you do not respond to the suit, a judgment may be rendered against you by default. This usually means that a judge has made a determination that you are indebted to the plaintiff. The plaintiff, with the assistance of a sheriff or constable, can seize certain assets, including money in your bank accounts, to pay the judgment. If you receive a summons informing you that you are being sued, even if you agree that you owe the plaintiff money, you should consult with a qualified attorney.

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