Many people believe that once a lawsuit has been filed the matter immediately is bound for a court room. While that it is true to some extent, there is a crucial step that must occur after a complaint has been filed: the answer. Under the laws of Massachusetts, once a party has filed a lawsuit there is a certain time that party has to “serve” the defendant with his or her complaint. After this, the defendant is then responsible for filing an answer to the complaint. This is the first opportunity that the defendant has to respond to the allegations put forth in the plaintiff’s complaint. For instance, if part of a complaint for a slip and fall case alleges that the defendant is the owner of a certain parcel of land, the answer would be the appropriate document to respond by either admitting this fact or denying this fact- nothing more or less.
In some situations it can be impossible for a defendant to respond by either admitting the facts in the complaint or denying the facts in the complaint. While these situations are not necessarily common- a defendant does have the ability to claim that they are without sufficient information to properly admit or deny the allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint. While the answers can be relatively brief in comparison to a plaintiff’s verbose complaint- the filing of an answer is a vital document that should best be prepared with an attorney with a background knowledge of the intricacies that are involved with complex litigation matters. Admitting or denying a fact can have huge repressions and should be approached with lawyer for best results. Continue reading →