Can I respond to documentation from the Superior Court of one state ifI live in another, without an attorney?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2011

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Can I respond to documentation from the Superior Court of one state ifI live in another, without an attorney?

I am in TX and cannot appear; I think it’s small claims court. I purchased a conference table with electrical components for a client. Their procedure is to bill the table and the components separately. I paid in 2 payments (deposit and final bill). I gave them my check number’s for the entire amount. I received papers from the Superior Ct of NJ; they have filed requesting this amount ($1486.94). Can I submit the needed response directly or need an attorney in order to resolve this matter.

Asked on January 4, 2011 under Business Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking you need to appear in Court in some way, shape or form in order to defend yourself in the matter.  You can send a lay person with a power of attorney to appear for you.  You do not have to send an attorney.  But it would be best if you prepared an affidavit that was properly executed and notarized explaining the matter and showing your proof for the party appearing on your behalf to bring.  Have you answered the summons yet?  Raise some affirmative defenses such as that this is a frivolous lawsuit, accord and satisfaction (prior payment).  Ask for fees incurred with having to defend yourself. Call the courthouse as well and speak with the small claims clerk.  Good luck to you.

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 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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