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lwpat, Attorney at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 25387
Experience:  35 years of business experience and a practicing attorney.
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I have AC Suit on Account filed against me on 10/17/2011 and

Resolved Question:

I have AC Suit on Account filed against me on 10/17/2011 and the court date is 11/23/2011. My car was hit from behind with some damage to the back bumber. The insurance company of that person accepted liability to repair my car. The body shop (toyota) did a very poor job. They put an after market bumber that is not fitting nicley into my car. I asked the insurance company not to pay the body shop because I wasn't very happy with their service. I have photos that can prove my case. The insurance mailed the check ($956) to me, and I'm willing to pay if the body shop would do a better job. Do I need to have a lawyer? Is this a small claim court?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
What is your state? Does the complaint state that it is in magistrate's court?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


It says 16 judicial circuit court, jackson county, MO

Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
That is not small claims. It could either be a jury trial of a non jury trial. There should be something on the complaint but by the court date being so close it is a bench trial, assuming that this is a trial date. You need to look at the time on the summons within which you are required to file an answer with the court and also serve the other party. You have to file an answer or the other party can obtain a default judgment. Here is appears that all you will need to do is to deny their allegations. This is a typical answer.

You will need to cross examine their witnesses and you will need someone to testify on your behalf that the work is not acceptable. It should be someone from another body shop. Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It says on the document I received that: You are summoned to appear before this court on the date, time, and location above to answer the attached petition. You may be permitted to file certain responsive pleadings, pursuant to chapter 517 RSMo. Should you have any question regarding responsive pleadings in this case, you should consult an attorney.


At the end of the petition, there is paper says: Application for order appointing special process server. This page has 15 different names. At the end of that page, there is an order appointing special process server with the same 15 names again. Are those jurers? Do I need to submit an answer to the court before the court date? Do I need to have an attorney or just appear before the judge and provide my answer?

Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
This will be a bench trial before an associate circuit judge. Here are the rules of court.

Petition required, form--affirmative defenses, counterclaims, cross-claims, filing--extension of filing, when.

517.031. 1. The plaintiff shall file a written petition containing the facts upon which the claim is founded. A copy of any written instrument or account in support of the petition should be attached and filed. The pleadings of the petition shall be informal unless the court in its discretion requires formal pleadings.

2. Affirmative defenses, counterclaims and cross claims shall be filed in writing not later than the return date and time of the summons unless leave to file the same at a later date is granted by the court. No other responsive pleading need be filed. If no responsive pleading is filed, the statements made in the petition, affirmative defenses, counterclaims or cross claims shall be considered denied except as provided in section 517.132.

3. For good cause shown, the court may extend the time for filing any pleading.


You should consider filing a counterclaim against them for the cost of fixing the vehicle as it should be done.


Here are all the rules

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have never been in a court before, and some of the above language is not very clear to me, so I appreciate your patience. Do I need to file a counter claim myself or an attorney should do that?
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
An attorney will cost you more what you are being sued for. An accept for my time is always appreciated and required for me to receive any credit from JA