Raleigh, NC asked in Consumer Law and Collections for North Carolina

Q: How can someone properly respond to a summons that is out of state?

My SO lives with me in North Carolina for almost two and a half years now. Her mother was served a summons & complaint at her home in New York regarding a debt collector attempting to get a judgement against her. A couple of questions:

1. Was she properly served?

2. The summons says to file an answer with the clerk of court. Does this have to be in person? Is it reasonable to expect her to fly to NY (mid pandemic) and do this?

3. Since she lives in NC, would they have to file with NC court and use the SOL in NC instead of NY? If so by that basis it's past SOL.

4. We submitted an answer autogenerated by SoloSuit to the attorney and the court via certified mail. Is this considered an appropriate file? I keep reading that it needs to be stamped by clerk of court.

Any attorney we speak with obviously wants us to use them and to pay them. Just trying to figure out how to file an answer appropriately and possibly get the case dismissed before consulting/hiring an attorney.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: 1. Depends on more facts, but for a snap judgment I'll say probably not. However, burden is on you to establish that proper service hasn't been made. If you don't raise the issue properly with the court, the creditor will likely just proceed on and get what they want. This will require that you file certain court pleadings (motion to dismiss probably).

2. No, you can mail the documents to the court.

3. Assuming NY has jurisdiction over the case, they can sue there. If she used to live there, NY probably does have jurisdiction.

4. You have to make sure it gets properly filed. I'm not certain whether you did or didn't.

I can't provide you with any more guidance without sitting down and consulting with you. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you can't expect attorneys to just hand out legal advice for free. TV shows and media portray attorneys as living the high life, but the reality is much less glamorous.

Lynn Ellen Coleman agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: You need to ask this question in a New York forum, because New York law applies to New Yourk lawsuits as far as what she needs to do to answer the lawsuit. Depending on the type of contract she signed, it may be completely legal for her to be sued in New York. There is not enough information here to answer that question. Not every lawyer requires a big fee to speak to them. Keep looking for attorneys in the area of New York where the lawsuit is pending. She may only have to pay a small fee for just a consultation. Good luck.

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