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?
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.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.