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Steps to take when issued a summons

Lawsuits are prevalent in the American legal system. In fact, information from Common Good states that each year in the United States, citizens file over 15 million lawsuits. Lawsuits can range in severity from frivolous to extreme. 

The plaintiff needs to take immediate action before additional problems arise. A summons is serious, and people should never ignore them. While each individual case will be different, people should take the same general actions. 

Respond in a timely manner

After an entity issues a summons, the person needs to provide a response. The length of time the person has depends on the state the party resides in. For Tennessee, people have 30 days after receiving a summons to offer an answer in the courts. This answer does not mean the person is agreeing that the lawsuit is warranted. Instead, he or she is merely acknowledging the summons. The person being used should make copies of the summons. 

In the event the party does not respond to the summons, the state will take more aggressive actions. The police can show up to the person’s door with a warrant. This may not happen for several months down the line, but failing to respond to a summons results in significant consequences. 

Restructure repayments when the summons has to do with debt

Most of the time, credit card debt is the explanation behind a summons. In this case, there is no need to panic or worry about going to jail. Plaintiffs need to provide responses promptly to prevent the debt from getting out of hand, and then the plaintiff can begin working with the creditor to come up with a repayment plan. 

Every case is different, and the biggest mistake people can make is not responding at all. There may be no justification behind the summons, but people still need to follow the legal process and bring in an attorney if needed.

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