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Help with answering summons in Alameda County, CA, fast!


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I have to answer this summons by tomorrow (the 30 day limit falls on Sunday). I am confused as to how form PLD-C-010 is presented in terms of denying the complaints. The form gives you 2 options:

1. Defendant generally denies each statement of the complaint or cross-complaint. (Do not check this box if the verified complaint or cross-complaint demands more than $1,000.)

2. Defendant admits that all of the statements of the complaint or cross-complaint are true EXCEPT:

(1) Defendant claims the following statements are false (use paragraph numbers or explain)

(2) Defendant has no information or belief that the following statements are true, so defendant denies them (use paragraph numbers or explain)

The problem here is that I deny everything, but option #1 says I can do this only if the complaint asks for less than $1,000. The complaint is more than that (just under $5,000). If I use option #2 (and one of the two sub-options), I have to write out each and every paragraph and explain, but some of the numbered paragraphs aren't specific complaints, just generic info and true, like stating the law firm is licensed to operate in california). I'm representing myself, so this seems like a good way to be tripped up. I don't understand why there isn't an option to just simply deny everything, regardless of amount.

What do I need to do here? I don't want to check a box that say I believe the complaints are true. Any help is appreciated...thanks!

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1. If the 30 days to answer falls on a Sunday, your answer is due the next business day. In other words, you have until Monday.

2. You don't need to write out the paragraphs; just use the paragraph numbers. Deny the paragraphs that actually accuse you of something (section (1)). For things that are true (like, you live in Alameda County) you don't need to mention, since you're saying "Everything is true EXCEPT..." in the section. For things like "they're licensed in California", list in section (2), since you have no way of knowing their licensing status, and they'll have to prove it.

Good luck.


PS There is a "General Denial" form that might be appropriate, PLD-050

Edited by debtorshusband
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Thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate it:) I did see the general denial form; if I do indeed have until Monday then I suppose can write out all the info/defenses/etc. in a text doc and insert them into both types of .pdf forms, print them out, and ask the clerk which is best.

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If the lawsuit is more than $1,000, or it has has been verified, you cannot check the general denial box. Being verified means that there is a sworn statement attached to it.

I too was confused with form PLD-C-010. I went down to the courthouse and made copies of several files where the defendant's were represented by attorneys and it really helped. In case you can't check the general denial, here is how the attorneys filed their Answers:

3.B) defendant admits that all of the statements of the complaint or cross complaint are true EXCEPT.

(1) Defendant claims the following statements are false (use paragraph numbers).

CC-X, CC-XX, and CC-XXX.

The CCs are located on a statement that is attached to the complaint entitled CAUSE OF ACTION.

On the examples of Answers that I used, they listed only the paragraphs that the Plaintiff checked off on the CAUSE OF ACTION form. For example, if there was a CC-1, CC-2, CC-3, CC-4, CC-5 on that form, but the plaintiff only checked an item, or added language to paragraphs listed under CC-1, CC-2, and CC-3. That is what the Answer contained in section 3.b (1).

Interestingly, the Answers I made copies of included CC-1, which is the Plaintiff's name (Bank so-and-so).

This particular CAUSE OF ACTION form also contains other references, such as: open book account, because an acct was stated, in the last four years, for goods, attorney's fees, etc. On the Answer (PLD-C-010) they did not list each of those items that were checked on the Complaint, because they are listed under the main paragraphs of CC-2, CC-3, etc. So just listing the main paragraph that contains a checked item listed underneath it, or has language added to an item listed underneath it, is sufficient.

Now, for the rest of the Answer:

3.b (2) Defendant has no information or belief that the following statements are true, so defendant denies them (use paragraph numbers or explain):

1,2,3,6,8, etc.

Every paragraph that was marked on the Complaint was listed here EXCEPT the paragraph that contained that the Defendant is a natural person, and the paragraph that contained the court venue (assuming yours is the proper court venue). If not, you can add that number here too. So in essence, those are the only things being admitted. Everything else was denied. In this section, they also included the paragraph that contained the plaintiff's name (#1).

Add this statement in a paragraph below your numbered items listed in section 3.b (2):

Defendant specifically denies each and every allegation of the complaint not specifically admitted herein. Defendant notes that this denial is due, among other things, to multiple allegations within a single paragraph of the complaint.

**This is a suggestion. I am not an attorney, but I sure intend to fight like one.

Edited by jewel1325
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