If my father is 89 and has, since he’s being sued should I respond for him?

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If my father is 89 and has, since he’s being sued should I respond for him?

He has no assets and is on Medicaid; he only has only social security as income and lives in a nursing home. The lawsuit is for unspecified damages regarding a business deal that he may have been involved 5 years ago, which I can’t ask him about because of the Alzheimer’s. The nursing home just forwarded me the summons today though they received it on the 28th of last month; I have another 2 days to answer.

Asked on December 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are a guardian of your father, then, yes, you do need to file some type of response for him.  If you do not have some document that grants you the authority to do so, then you need to get something asap so that you can either file a response pro se or have an attorney file one for you.  If a default judgment gets entered against your dad, then you need to get an attorney involved to file a motion for reconsideration or motion for new trial.  Considering that the plaintiff served notice on a person who was not legally capable of responding, you would have a basis for getting the judgment set aside.  You may be tempted to throw up your hands, but getting the judgment set aside is important for your father's finances and his estate finances.  With a judgment, the creditor could potentially attach what few resources he has left to support himself with. 


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