Kings, NY asked in Consumer Law for New York

Q: I got summons, NY Supreme Court, consumer credit transaction, requiring me to answer the complaint. Do I need a lawyer?

Does Supreme Court allow pro se representation in consumer credit disputes? If yes, does it provide directions as to what forms to fill, file, and when?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Parham
Matthew Parham
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If you were personally sued, you are allowed to represent yourself. I believe in most counties the county clerk or self-help desk, if one exists, should be able to provide you a form answer that you can fill out essentially by checking boxes, and file. You should take care of this promptly to make sure you are not untimely, as answering late could result in a default judgment. The due date for the answer depends on when and how you were served with process, and the general rule is that you have only 20 days if the summons was physically handed to you, and otherwise you have at least 30 days. Most county clerks will provide assistance in answering if you go down there, but will not provide legal advice such as advice about the due date.

Depending how much is at stake and whether you can afford it, it may be more cost effective for you to hire a lawyer. A lawyer is more likely to recognize valid defenses or counter-claims and protect your rights against entry of a judgment based on invalid or no evidence, as often happens.

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