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How do you file a counter-suit?

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2011-09-13 01:33:42
2011-09-13 01:33:42

This question seems to be asking how one files a "pro se" counter suit in which you act as your own lawyer. Otherwise you would simply contact a lawyer to do it for you. So I will proceed from that perspective.

First caveat. I am not giving legal advice, simply passing on the education I received in the subject.

Most often, a counter suit is actually called a "counter claim", and is filed by adding it to Brief filed in response to an original or modified Complaint. Depending on what level of the Courts you are in, you must first find out the proper form of such a response Brief, the page format, font, spacing, service requirements, time limitations and other such rules.

If in the District Court of the State, you would consult the Uniform Rules of Civil Procedure. You should also find out if the Court has local rules they apply as well.

Often all of this can be found on the State Website for the Law Library, and many even have fill in the blank forms for such filings. The information can also usually be found on the State Website under the Annotated Codes of the state, in their legislatively spelled out form.

Finally, I have found it invaluable to go to the Supreme Court of the state involved and search on the subject i am involved with to read what opinions have already been given in the areas I wish to make claims in. I.E If I wanted to argue that age was of no importance in a case concerning when a person can become a citizen, I would search on the keywords "age" and "Citizen", and read all the opinions that fit this. You might find someone has already set the precedent you need to cite to win, and as most states also have the Briefs online, you could get a template to use for your own Brief complete with the argument already written out.

One final Caveat. It is often stated by Judges or Lawyers that "a person that represents himself in Court has a fool for a Client". They truly believe this, as the rules of procedure are indeed complicated. However, if you study the rules of procedure, you can learn them. Then, since all Courts must give Pro Se litigants as much room for error and as great a learning curve as possible in their own defense BY LAW, you can represent yourself, and win. Mostly Lawyers really don't want to go to trial, and most cases are settled long before a case comes to trial. Lawyers make more money for less work when they negotiate settlements.

Trials are expensive for those who pay lawyers, and many litigants don't want to get that far into debt if there is a chance they will lose and have to pay all legal fees. If a trial gets length so the Court can give the Pro Se litigant the legal leeway they are due, (which costs the Pro se litigant nothing for the extra time, but costs much for the person paying the lawyer), is a thorn in the foot of any non Pro se litigant and their Lawyer.

Note! Several good websites with forums full of people that represent themselves in court, exist. The one I like best is www.suijuris.net but there are many. "Sui Juris" is another way of saying "I represent myself", same as Pro Se. So is "In Propria Persona" or "In my Proper Person as Myself".

Good Luck!

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