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Counterclaim Questions

A counter claim is a civil action that takes place after a person has a claim placed against them. Once a person receives notice of a claim, they can then counterclaim against the other party. For example; if a person is sued for damages after a collision, that person can then counterclaim for property damages and personal injuries (if they suffered any injuries). Take a look at the questions below regarding counterclaims that have been answered by Experts.

filed a Motion to Dismiss Defendants' counterclaim in Circuit Court in IL, and the defendant never responded. Is there a rule that tells me a time limit when a Defendant should have filed a response?

Generally, the court will determine the motion on a case to case basis. When someone files to dismiss a counter claim, it isn't the same as someone failing to file an answer. A counterclaim is considered the same as a complaint and requires the opposing party to reply or petition a motion to dismiss. You would have done your part by filing a motion to dismiss. The court would next decide on the motion to dismiss. The response time can vary from court to court but you can contact the clerk of courts in the court that this case is held to find out how long you are expected to wait for the court’s decision.

If I'm filing a counterclaim against someone who is filing a bill against me (an attorney). Is it viable to file a counterclaim with misrepresentation/breach of contract, wrongful use of civil proceedings, unjust enrichment, equitable estoppels, and declaratory judgment?

If the attorney in question is billing you for his fee, you have the right to enter a counterclaim for breach of contract if he/she failed to perform the services that you requested, or misrepresented the services that you were told would be performed, or conducted in an unprofessional manner that would justify your non-payment.

In order to have a declaratory judgment, you will have to express exactly which declaration from the court you are expecting. For example, you may want to seek a declaratory judgment, required to offer the specific services that was agreed upon in the original contract agreement.

I'm answering a counter claim in a District Court and I need to submit a copy of a phone message as evidence. The message is now in MP3 format on my computer? What format do I use to make this recording evidence? I live in Oregon.

Usually, the phone message wouldn't be submitted with your reply to the counterclaim. The phone message would have to be on CD for the hearing. You would then need to have a proper reason for entering the message and then offer it into evidence. However, in order to use the recording as evidence, the other party would have to have been aware that you had recorded the message; otherwise it is unlikely to be allowed. You can learn more about this by going here:

Applicable Laws under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS):
  • 165.535 Definitions applicable to obtaining contents of communications
  • 165.540 Obtaining contents of communications
  • 165.543 Interception of communications
Having said this, your state is a one party state. This means if you took part in a conversation, you are normally allowed to record that conversation.

Can I claim emotional hardship in my counter claim? If yes, what dollar value can I assign to that?

You can claim emotional distress in a counterclaim. Usually, a person selects an amount that they want for the damages, and then they will have to justify the amount in court. If you can show that as a result of someone's actions, you have suffered from stress, it may be possible to receive compensation. You may also want to include the cost of any medication or counseling that resulted from the stress to strengthen your claim.

A counterclaim is similar to a compliant. In that sense, it is an accusation and the onus of proving the accusation rests on the person making the counter-claim. There can be many legal implications and laws about counter claims, what is admissible evidence, etc., can vary from situation to situation and state to state. It is best to be aware of the laws as they apply in your case. If you have questions or doubts regarding a counterclaim, you should consult with an Expert who can assist you with any legal inquiries.
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