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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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If an attorney files a complaint that they knowingly failed

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If an attorney files a complaint that they knowingly failed to sign and did not correct, does or did the court ever have jurisdiction to hear or rule on the controversy?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

That is a very good question. As you are likely aware the courts tend to be fairly strict about what they permit and what they allow. A complaint that is unsigned is generally invalid, and I doubt many judges would permit such a complaint to be considered as adequate. But as you also know a judge has discretion to allow or disallow filings--in this case the court can still claim jurisdiction if all other conditions are met, and potential if the judge knows the counsel personally. But I see this as a viable avenue for an objection and a demand that complaint be dismissed for not conforming to state rules on proper filings.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. If you will permit me, I have a follow up question:

I was not the first attorney to represent this defendant against whom the unsigned complaint, and many unsigned pleadings, were filed. The case was partly tried and partly mediated in 2011. There is a pending appeal in this case on other malpractice by the same "nonsigning" attorney. Is there any time limit as far as having the whole case dismissed for lack of jurisdiction?


You are most welcome. Glad to clarify.

Typically the lack of jurisdiction claim has to be brought up right away and as an affirmative defense. Once the case is being heard, then the lack of jurisdiction claim is moot since by continuing the case and not contesting earlier, the parties both consented to jurisdictional claims of the court. Unless prior to it the party only made special appearances and filed special motions, I do not see that as a viable motion.

Good luck.

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