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To answer your question directly, no, they don't have to answer in order to argue, but it would be unusual for them not to answer, but the judge does have the discretion to allow argument even without a formal answer.
hey are you still there?
here is the situation:
I was ordered to pay attorney fees from a decl judgment case my attorney forced me into. - anyways then the judge ordered me to pay 7000 because he says it was frivilous
the order he wrote states clearly that my ex is to be paid a percentage of the funds held in the court registry
so she was paid her percentage in the court registry
my attorney received additional monies from my lawsuit and automatically paid my ex a portion and this money was not in the court registry
it happened to be $7,000. So my argument is the attorney fees are already paid
she is trying to say I have not paid her
my counter claim is the fact the divorce papers clearly state we are to hire and pay for our own attorneys and she owes me back 7000
and she hasnt answered
and you are telling me she doesnt have to
If she doesn't respond to that, the judge can still consider all the other evidence in the case. It would be odd if she did not respond, but the judge has very wide discretion in determining what arguments to hear and which to not hear.
You could file a motion for summary judgment on your counterclaim, but the judge could deny it just based on all the other evidence he's heard in the case.
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