Can someone file and go to court under a false name?

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Can someone file and go to court under a false name?

My business has been served papers asking for financial compensation from an elective cosmetic procedure. The name used to file is not a lawyer and claims to be a client of my business. We have no record of any client by this name, or any name even similar. How can this person file a civil suit under either a false identification or file against a company that has never met/has no record off the person filing against them?

Asked on May 2, 2018 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You are assuming that the court checks ID of people filing lawsuits, or confirms that they have grounds for a lawsuit (e.g. that they did business with you) before accepting the lawsuit. That is not the case, however; the court does not verify this when the lawsuit is filed. You can, of course, defend yourself on the basis that you have no connection to this person and there is no basis for liability; if they can't prove some connection (e.g. they had the procedure done under some different name, but changed their name since then), you should win. Furthermore, if there is evidence this was a deliberate attempt to defraud you by intimidating you into paying when there is no basis for liability (as opposed to an unfortunate but honest mistake, such as confusing your practice or business with a similarly named one against which they have a claim), you could countersue for malicious use of (sometimes called abuse of) process, and/or seek sanctions  for frivalous litigation.


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