Politely Decline a Legal Request

Edited by estrella sacragon, Rebecca M., Robbi, Eng and 2 others

Are you afraid to be sued in case you decline a legal request? Who wouldn't be afraid of that eventuality?

By definition, legal means anything that is of the law, allowed by the law

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and/or related to the law.

Request, of course, is defined as an act of asking or formally or politely for something; courteous appeal for something.

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What is a Legal Request?

A legal request is when a request has been made to divulge sensitive information that might be used in the court to settle, solve or close a legal case.

This sensitive information could vary from telephone records, patients' recording, credit card records, travel whereabouts and many other types of information. The truth is, some corporations or businesses like commercial airlines, telephone companies, hospitals, resorts and hotels have a long-standing partnership with the legal system. They automatically provide them with information needed without any hassles.

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There are also private and conservative companies that hold back information that may or may not incriminate those people involved in the legal action. Sometimes they decline because they don't want the name of the company to be involved in whatever legal happenings are going on.

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How to Politely Decline a Legal Request

  1. 1
    Make sure that there's a subpoena before giving any information away
    .
    In situations where information is very important, a subpoena is processed and presented to get whatever information is needed by the court of law. Once this piece of paper has been delivered, the business or establishment or homeowner has no other choice but to cooperate. If the other party is refuses to provide the information ask for, then the assistance of a lawyer may be requested or hired. In this instance, unfortunately, an attorney can only do so much to fight the request by delaying the delivery of information. In most, actually all cases, once a subpoena has been served, it is the lawful duty of the person who was subpoenaed to present what was asked for, and required by the court of law. Defying the law could result in the person being subpoenaed charged and penalized; an unnecessary trouble that could be prevented through immediate and peaceful cooperation.
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  2. 2
    Make sure that you have valid grounds to decline such a request
    .
    If at first, information needs to be withheld for some reason, a letter politely declining the legal request can be offered. How to decline a legal request in a polite way can be done through a letter explaining why such request will not be accommodated. It is best to have a lawyer draft, notarize, and deliver the letter to the party requesting the sensitive legal information.
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  3. 3
    Check the documents that you have already provided to the other party
    .
    For companies that have had the opportunity to work with the legal system before and know how it works, even though certain information is being demanded, these companies can still decline by checking, reviewing and confirming what has been provided already.
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  4. 4
    Meticulous and voluminous work
    .
    If accommodating such request would take too much work and require too much time from the staff or employees, this could be used as a reason to decline a legal request. Wasting of resources and time that is not covered financially by the company, plus the emotional stress, frustration and annoyance to the employees can be added as well to reasons to decline. Another option is to look at it as if the request has been made and provided for to another requestor. Duplicate request can be a factor to decline a legal request.
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Whether peacefully or begrudgingly cooperating with the law, it's highly suggested that the litigant in the case makes use of the services of a lawyer. This way, all types of complexities will be resolved.

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The Importance of Being Polite in Answering a Legal Request

If you find yourself being served with a summons and legal complaint, then obviously you are being sued, and you are now a defendant in a pending civil case against you. Basically, you have limited time to answer the complaint. If you can't file a response to the complaint on time, chances are, it will result in a default judgment entered against you. This will mean that you are forfeiting your rights to answer to the complaint and the person who filed a suit against you would prevail.

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It's significant for you to know that when you are sued, this is actually a very serious matter and will require you to act immediately. To understand more about answering a legal request, here are some helpful tips.

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  1. 1
    Read the entire document
    .
    When you first receive a complaint, make sure you read it carefully. This will tell you exactly how much time you have to file your answer or response. Take note that the statements and allegations made in the complaint are set in paragraphs numbered consecutively. When answering, you need to respond to each section in the complaint, making sure you use the exact number being used in the complaint.
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  2. 2
    Consult a lawyer
    .
    Once you have fully-read the complaint, consult a lawyer to help you wade through legal speak. Court documents are complicated and you'll need a lawyer to help to understand it. Even if you don't actually want representation, it is worth your while to have a lawyer explain exactly what the document is all about. #Research. Take the time to do some research about the specific rules in your area with regard to how you must respond to civil complaints, or if you are required to retain the help of a lawyer. In most cases, the procedures and formats in answering legal complaints are similar in most areas, however, always read the rules of courts for your jurisdiction before you draft any legal document.
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  3. 3
    You should answer the complaint and file it with the Courts within a period of 30 days
    .
    This period is counted from the date you received the complaint. If you cannot provide a reply within the specified time, you may request for additional time to answer. When requesting additional time, for goodness sake put that in writing and submit it to the Courts BEFORE the thirty-day period has passed. You need an attorney to do this type of action.
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Consequences if No Response

If you cannot answer the complaint within the thirty-day period as required by law, then you are in serious trouble. Take note of the date as soon as you receive a formal complaint, while also being aware of the deadline to answer. Weekends also count. If the last day of the filing of the complaint falls on a weekend or a holiday, count the next working day.

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The Proper Way to Answer the Complaint

  1. 1
    Brief and Honest
    .
    Your reply to a complaint is called the answer. You must reply to each section of the complaint with the exact number used in the complaint. Be extra careful with your statements when making your answers as these can become admissions of facts and can be used against you in a court of law. The key here is to remain truthful and brief.
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  2. 2
    Your Answer
    .
    When you agree with the alleged complaint, your response should be "admitted"; otherwise, you indicate "denied" if you don't acknowledge the problem. When you don't know if the allegations that were stated in the complaint are true or not, or if you don't have information to identify if the statement is correct; place in your response "not enough information to respond". Always be brief with your response as much as you can. Directly answer all the allegations in the complaint with no more than two sentences.
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  3. 3
    Exhibits
    .
    If you want to include with your answer a copy of certain documents, you may also attach those to your response. They can make integral parts of your answer and must be referred to in your reply. These will then be referred to as "Exhibits" or "Attachments". All the copies of these documents are numbered and attached at the end of every answer.
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  4. 4
    At times, the complaint is arranged in different sections with different claims against the defendants
    .
    Normally, these sections have different titles. In your response, you must also repeat the same allegations.
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Counterclaims and Affirmative Defenses

If you have your own claims against the petitioner, make sure you state them in your answer. It is best to get in touch with an attorney for you to determine the right defenses and claims. Once you have answered the allegations from the complaint, you may then list your own defenses and claims. Every claim and defense must start with a paragraph where you re-allege the entire preceding paragraph and must continue with the numbers of paragraphs in sequence following the last number.

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Request for Judgment: The Wherefore Clause

After ending the answer of the complaint, you must also state what it is that you want to get from the court. Your concluding statement must include the "wherefore clause". For example "Wherefore Defendant seeks the dismissal of the complaint of the Plaintiff, and that the Plaintiff recovers nothing.

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The Methods of Answering the Complaint with a Plead or Position Paper

  1. 1
    Prepare your plead
    .
    You can find samples of these on the Internet, from the courthouse. Type in your name, address, and phone number at the top left portion of the paper. Next, provide the information in two lines after your personal information. Provide your answers to all the numbered allegations issued against you.
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  2. 2
    Ensure that all the claims are answered
    .
    You may admit that you did what was alleged, deny the allegations, or claim that you do not have ample or sufficient information to affirm or negate such issues. If you fail to do so, the court may believe that your failure to answer the allegation is an admission of guilt.
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  3. 3
    Start typing your answer using double-spaced lines, just below the court information space on your position paper
    .
    Each response has to be numbered and double-spaced throughout the rest of the paper. Once completed, sign and put a date on your answer after you have acknowledged every allegation. Your signature line has to be two spaces below the lastly numbered answer on the pleading paper.
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  4. 4
    Attach a verification of your reply
    .
    The verification is another document stating that you are the defendant in the case and that you have acknowledged all your answers in the document.
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  5. 5
    The legal complaint must also be made in triplicate
    .
    The original copy goes to the court, the second is for your personal copy, and the third goes to the plaintiff.
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  6. 6
    Lastly, complete the proof of service before you submit your reply to the court
    .
    All these should be done prior to court hearings.
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Questions and Answers

I have a customer who wants us to get involved in litigation with her.

I have a customer who was renting a home. There is bad water damage and possibly black mold. We came out and looked at it, but didn't find the black mold. She wants us to come to court to witness, but my boss wants nothing to do with it or her. How do I politely decline without bringing trouble to our company?

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Dear (Their Name),

As you are aware, we surveyed your water damage to the property you are renting as (address) on (date). Our findings concluded that although there was water damage, we saw no physical signs of black mold. My employer has requested that we remain out of the court proceedings which our testimony would not exactly help your case due to the fact that when questioned, we would have to state we found no mold. I can provide you with a written estimate of the damage and a estimation of the cost to replace/repair. You will find this included with the letter.

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Sincerely,

Your Name (Company)

Can I be sued or have charges (taxed) if I refuse to sign paperwork?

I have a "friend" staying at my house. She pays $50-$80 a week. She is homeless and we have no contract. She has applied for assistance and now wants me to sign paperwork stating she pays x amount and part of utilities. Can the State or County come after me if I don't sign?

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Article Info

Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Maria, Eng, Robbi

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