There are many different state agency (such as unemployment and workers compensation agencies and bureaus, as well as state court cases which define or indicate how the decision about who is considered an employee and who is an "independent contractor" is made. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also provides a list of different criteria which specifiy whom the IRS will consider an employee or an independent contractor. One of the IRS explanations of how the determination of who is an employee or an independent contractor can be found here and the discussion here also explains how the determination may be made in TN. Answering any court document or entering any statement or document in a court of law, however, should normally be done only with the assistance of legal counsel hired by a person, in their state, to assure such documents are properly answered and filed to assure all rights are protected. This site can provide only information, not legal advice.
Telling someone how to handle a court summons or what to do for it would not be something I could do as I can only provide information, as for obtaining legal counsel at more "affordable" rates, that can happen, but it often depends on community resources. Where there are university or college law schools nearby they often have legal clinics that can help people; local bar associations may often provide legal services for free or reduced rates; and local courts often have "self-help" centers which can provide legal assistance to persons (people can contact their local courts to find out what services are offered). This one resource here provides several different listings for low cost or pro bono (free) legal services that may be able to help. Also, there are many attorneys that may help, but it may take time to find them and many calls or networks may need to be made.
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