If you are served with a lawsuit you must file a responsive pleading before the expiration of the time to respond expires. In Florida, this is not oftentimes easy to determine because where the Complaint is filed and the type of complaint that is filed, carries different time periods. For instance, an eviction proceeding may need to be answered within 5 days of service, while a typical Federal Complaint served, needs to be answered within 30 days of service. In Florida State Courts, the typical suit needs to be answered within 20 days of service.
In any event, if you are served with a complaint, many of your rights can be waived if you do not assert them at time of answering. For instance, in a typical State Court complaint, if, with your answer, you do not plead affirmative defenses, your rights to those defenses may be compromised or waived.
That is why when you are served with a complaint, it is imperative that you seek immediate legal counsel to address the particular and indivualized facts of your case. No two cases are identical, so please bear that in mind.
March 1, 2011
Our Melbourne office is centrally located in Brevard County, enabling our lawyers to serve clients throughout “the Space Coast”, including Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Vero Beach.