Can you answer a declaratory judgment yourself?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can you answer a declaratory judgment yourself?

My stepmom has filed a complaint for
declaratory judgment against me and my
brothers to try and get the trust my
grandmother made dissolved so she can
get what is in it instead of it going
to us. My aunt keeps telling me I need
a lawyer to do it but it looks like I
just have to answer it. I don’t see why
I need a lawyer if I send a copy to my
stepmother’s lawyer and file the
original with the clerk of court. Any
help would be appreciated. I’m in north
carolina also. Thank you

Asked on June 20, 2016 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to have an attorney file an answer to the complaint.  If the answer is not timely filed, a default judgment will be entered against you which  means you will have lost unless you have grounds to file a motion to set aside the default.  The time period / deadline for filing the answer is stated in the summons which is attached to the complaint.
In order to file an answer to the complaint, you will need to look in Pleading and Practice at the law library which has sample answers to complaints to obtain a general format.
The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.  It should also include a verification signed under penalty of perjury as to the veracity of the statements in the answer.  The answer to the complaint is filed with the court with an attached proof of service and a copy needs to be mailed to your stepmother's attorney.  The proof of service  is a court form or you can write your own which verifies the date of mailing to your stepmother's attorney with the attorney's name and address.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption