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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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We are a trucking Company (A Corporation) We are being sued

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We are a trucking Company (A Corporation) We are being sued by an insurance company and recieved a summons (complaint for subrogation recovery - limited jurisdiction demand less than $10,000) I went to the county court clerks office to file a response and was told I couldn't because we are a corporation. The clerk told me I need to have either a paralegal or a lawyer fill out the response, I decided to go the paralegal route and delivered the papers myself back to the court and had them officially filed and stamped. When the plaintiff lawyer recieved our response from the court, he called us and said we had filed incorrectly by using a paralegal. I followed what the clerk had instructed, so did we or didn't we file incorrectly? (It's past 30 day's now)
Thank You,

Dear Customer - A paralegal cannot represent anyone in court although they are permitted to help prepare court documents. I'm not certain who signed the pleadings but a paralegal should know not to sign as a lawyer. If you signed the pleadings and are not a lawyer then that is the same problem. A corporation must be represented bu counsel since it is a separate entity and cannot represent itself.


So the papers were probably incorrect however they have at least been filed so there should be an opportunity to file an amended answer. I would assume the other attorney is going to file something to ask the court to strike your answer since there is no attorney representing the corporation.


The best thing you can do is get an attorney to file an amended answer before the other attorney files to strike and then files for a default judgment for failure to answer. The clerk of courts cannot provide legal advice to anyone and they probably had no idea that a paralegal could not file the paperwork. Unless your local court will allow a paralegal to appear under some local rule of court you need to be represented by an attorney.


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