If I have received a court summons today and my name is spelt incorrectly, what should I do?

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If I have received a court summons today and my name is spelt incorrectly, what should I do?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When you were served with the summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) you then had notice of the lawsuit even though your name was misspelled.  You will need to file with the court an answer to the complaint within the time set forth in the summons and serve your answer to the complaint by mail on the opposing party.  In your answer to the complaint, you can state, I,________ (your name) incorrectly sued as _________ (misspelled name) respond as follows...

If you have an attorney, the attorney can handle the answer to the complaint.  If you don't have an attorney, at the law library look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice.  This will give you the general format for an answer to a complaint.  The answer to the complaint denies the allegations in the complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury.  The verification attests to the veracity of your statements in the answer.  File the answer with verification and an attached proof of service with the court and mail a copy to the opposing party.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing.  You can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are at least eighteen and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to __________ (name and address of opposing party or opposing party's attorney) on _______ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same as the date you file your documents with the court.

If you don't file your answer to the complaint with the court and serve it on the opposing party within the time set forth in the summons, the opposing party can get a default judgment against you.  That means you have lost.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants your motion, the case is then back on track and litigation will continue.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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