If there is an error in papers filed with the court, can we use that against the people that are trying to sue us?

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If there is an error in papers filed with the court, can we use that against the people that are trying to sue us?

We were served papers for a lawsuit. We agree that the money is owed and will have it paid back in short time. The plaintiff refused to drop/delay the lawsuit. The papers they filed have a typographical error in some numbers. It is also signed with a statement that the facts stated in the document are true when they clearly are not. Can we use this as leverage to delay or get the lawsuit dropped (we still desire to pay the creditor/vendor back)?

Asked on December 21, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Typically, "typographical errors" will not result in a complaint being dismissed. Only if the typographic error resulting in suing or naming the wrong party, or seemingly attempting to sue for something which no one can sue for, or makes it impossible to tell exactly what the cause of action is, etc., would this usually happen. (And even there: the court can and often will allow parties  to amend or correct mistaken documents.)

2) Obviously, if the amount owed is wrong, then even if you have to pay it, you only have to pay the correct and provable amount. This is something that you can show at trial, assuming that the error is not in your favor. (If it is, you may wish to consider whether to bring it up.) It's at trial that each side can put forward its proofs or evidence to establish who is liable and for how much.

3) You say that certaini facts "clearly" are not true. However, determining which facts are true or not is, again, is generally something done at trial. Again, that's where you can show that the other party is factually wrong. Saying that their facts are wrong will not get the judge to simply dismiss the lawsuit.


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