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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Need help with an answer to a Summons - ASAP - due on Monday

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I am a VP at a $200M company and we received a summons on July 2nd for the state of Minnesota and now the clock is running out to respond, because the date to respond is Monday. I have written an answer to the best of my ability, but would like either a) advice on how to move out the deadline, b) have a lawyer sign the answer so that I can have it served on Monday, c) help me find somebody in Minnesota to serve said answer, or d) figure out something else to do based on the facts of the case. It is a freight claim from a third party logistics provider for a Customer of ours that went bankrupt and did not pay them. Our original Bill of Ladings supplied with the shipment had a non-recourse signature.


I have PDF attachments, but can't upload them.


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. The terms and conditions of this site unfortunately prohibit us from signing an Answer or representing you, but I can provide general information in response to your questions.

a) The way to get extra time is either to have the opposing party agree that you can have extra time, or file a Motion to Enlarge Time. Unfortunately, if the judge doesn't rule on the motion, the party still has to file an Answer before the close of business, so it may be too late. With that said, Rule 15 does allow a party to amend a pleading at any time before the other party responds - or within 20 days if you're not filing a counterclaim and the other party doesn't need to respond. So, one option if you don't have time to find an attorney is to file an Answer, then file an Amended Answer later.

b) You do not need an attorney to sign the answer. The Massachusetts Bar Association does have a lawyer referral service, but I don't know if they operate over the weekend. It could be tough to find someone on such short notice. Also, many lawyers will not sign a document that they did not draft. The lawyer would want to at least review the Complaint and the Answer before deciding whether to put his name on it. Another option is to go to and start calling to see if someone in your area is in the office on Saturday - or send emails. Some lawyers may check their email on the weekends.

c) The Answer to a Complaint can be served by putting a copy in the mail, stamped, and addressed to the opposing party or his attorney. There needs to be a certificate of service attached to the Answer stating when and where it was mailed. Service is complete upon mailing. Here's an example.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One more clarification. I live in Massachusetts but the Summons is from Minnesota. The Minnesota law websites say that a corporation must have a lawyer sign an Answer and that an officer of a company cannot sign the answer.

I'm sorry. I saw where you said it was a company, but didn't realize that it was a corporation. Yes, a corporation does need an attorney to sign all filings - including a motion to extend time. You may want to start emailing or calling attorneys in Minnesota today to see if you can get a response from anyone.
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