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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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