Complaint and Summons for Balance Due on Credit Card Account
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Filing a Complaint or Petition
Any complaint or petition for relief in a court must be filed within the statutory time limit (Statute of Limitations). These statutes vary from state to state. These statutes also vary depending on what your cause of action is. For example, in many states, the statute of limitations regarding a cause of action for breach of contract is three years, while the cause of action for an intentional tort, like slander, is one year.
A complaint is a general statement of the plaintiffs claim. The complaint must describe the actions that led to the claim of a violation (i.e., violation of rights). The claim can be for money damages. It could also be a claim for equitable remedies like specific performance (e.g., court forcing a party to abide by a contract) or an injunction (e.g., stopping a person from doing something). The complaint must establish jurisdiction of the court in which it is filed. For example, if the complain is filed in federal court, it must show diversity of citizenship or that a federal statutory or constitutional question is involved.
Service of Process
This generally involves attaching a copy of the complaint to a summons which is served on the defendant. The summons explains to the defendant what is going on and certain rights that that the defendant has. The summons explains:
o That the defendant is being sued;
o The name of the Court in which he is being sued;
o When he must file an answer; and
o The fact that a default judgment will be entered if no answer is filed. The summons (or process) is delivered by an office of the court. In many state courts, this can be a deputy sheriff or a professional process server. Deputy Marshals or process servers are used in federal court. Constables are used in justice court of some states. In exceptional circumstances, when the defendant can not be found, service may be made by publication in a newspaper.
The summons must normally be served on the individual defendant. Some states allow service on a member of defendants household if the defendant is not available. A plaintiff must serve a corporate defendant by serving the registered agent or an appropriate officer of the corporation.
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