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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6760
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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How do I pursue civil counterclaims?

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In a civil defamation case, as the Defendant, I wrote a facebook blog 2 years ago and was served. I responded, filed counterclaims, and hired a Jury in case it pursues further. I responded with claims of truth, fair comment and criticism. In my counterclaims, they were all from Hawaii's Chapter 521 landlord-tenant laws (student housing was suing me). This case has been idle for 2 years. How would I, without an attorney, pursue my counterclaims? Can I try to dismiss their case since they have not even filed a pretrial statement, then pursue my counterclaims? Should I file a motion to dismiss, but pursue my own counterclaims? If I pursue my counterclaims, is this a long, stretched out process or can it be relatively fast? Just seeing if I have the resources (time) to do everything or if I should just drop my counterclaims and try to dismiss their case for failure to prosecute. Alternately, am I allowed to drop my own case if theirs gets dismissed for failure to prosecute? I'm just wondering, what my options for this scenario? Thank you!

Hello, and thanks for submitting this question. I will assist you this morning. From the procedural steps you describe, it would appear that the case is now "at issue" and it is eligible to be set for trial. Usually, this requires one side to request the court to set the trial date. Since you have filed an Answer and Counterclaim you probably cannot file a motion to dismiss the complaint at this point. You could however file a Motion for Summary Judgment in your favor on the issues that are raised by the complaint. If summary judgment is granted on the complaint, you can proceed to trial on your counterclaim, or voluntarily dismiss it and the case would be thus ended. I don't know any of the facts of the case so I can't tell you how much time or effort would be involved in a trial.

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