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C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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A friend has been served a civil summons for breach of contract

This answer was rated:

A friend has been served a civil summons for breach of contract with a corporation. 1) He does not believe he worked for the named corporation. His checks were from another corporation. Both were created and operated by the same person. I could not determine the family tree relationship of the companies (subsidiaries, branches, etc.). 2) He was working under a 1099 agreement. Doesn't that mean that he wasn't really an employee? 3) The summons claims that the contract that he signed (he does not recall ever signing any such thing) has not been located, but that such terms of the contract are therein referenced (in the summons).
Will this case hold water? Can the Answer simply state that he 1) never worked for that company, 2) was never an employee with any company owned or operated by the plaintiff's company, 3) there was no contract?
My friend believes that the principle of the plaintiff is not above manufacturing some such documentation.

cfortunato :

Hi JACustomer,

cfortunato :

Yes - if your friend received a 1099 for his services, that means he was not an employee. Receiving a 1099 means one is an "independent contractor'', which is not considered to be an employee.

cfortunato :

If the plaintiff cannot produce a written contract, and if the defendant (your friend) does not admit that there was a written contract, the court will not accept the fact that there was a written contract.

cfortunato :

This means the court will not allow the case to proceed.

Customer:

And about the 'company confusion'? His 1099 is from a different company. Is there any way that this could be considered the same relationship, for example, if the paying company was a subsidiary of the plaintiff corp?

cfortunato :

If the paying company is a subsidiary of the plaintiff, that would be okay with the court. But the plaintiff would have to prove the paying company was its subsidiary.

cfortunato :

That is, if the defendant raises that point (that he was paid by the subsidiary) in his answer.

cfortunato :

(If the defendant does not raise that point in his answer, the court will not require the plaintiff to prove the paying company was its subsidiary.)

Customer:

Thank you. This case is the principle's attempt to harass the defendant. If my friend hires a lawyer and the wins the case, can he recoup his legal costs?

Customer:

Money well spent. Thank you for your help!

Customer:

legal costs?

cfortunato :

Your friend has to ask for the attorney fees in his answer.

Customer:

Thank you!

cfortunato :

If your friend can prove the motive for the lawsuit was harassment, he is very likely to be able to recover his legal fees.

cfortunato :

You're welcome!

cfortunato :

And please have a pleasant evening!

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