If you are served with a lawsuit the best thing you can do is immediately contact an attorney. There are many decisions that must be made in defending a lawsuit. What date do I have to file answer? Can I counterclaim? What does my pleading need to look like? Where do I send the answer?
The Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure generally control the process of litigation in the courts. Specifically, the Rules of Civil Procedure cover such items as service of process, rules of pleading, parties, discovery, and trials.
Perhaps the most important rule for someone served with a lawsuit is Civil Rule 12. Rule 12(A)(1) states that “the defendant shall serve his answer within twenty-eight days after service of the summons and complaint upon him”. In other words, if you are sued and don’t do something within 28 days, bad things will probably happen to you.
You have options on what to file. You could file an answer defending the lawsuit. You could file a motion to dismiss to have it thrown out. You could file a motion for more definite statement in certain circumstances. But you must do something. Exactly what to do is a strategic decision that is best made with the assistance of an attorney.
If you find yourself in need of defending a lawsuit, you can call J. Thomas Hodges at 513-421-8454 to discuss your options.