SAMPLE ANSWER

P’s Complaint There are several issues regarding how P has plead the complaint. Unverified, Unlimited Complaint P’s complaint may be unverified in California. In the absence of a statute requiring verification, California law allows unverified complaints. P’s complaint may be properly filed as unlimited complaint if the amount in controversy exceeds $25,000. Actions with amount in controversy less than $25,000 are properly filed as limited actions. Here, P’s damages include $20,000 in medical bills and an undefined amount of pain and suffering. Assuming pain and suffering would be at least $5,000, P would meet the amount in controversy requirements. The car accident was “serious” which should make the damages well in excess of the jurisdictional requirement. If punitive damages are not available or if pain and suffering damages are under $5,000, P’s case is properly filed as a limited civil action. Attorney’s fees and costs do not count to satisfy the jurisdictional amount, so P cannot rely on the estimated $15,000 in attorney’s fees and costs to reach the $25,000 requirement. Overall, P’s complaint is likely to be properly filed as an unlimited action.

Venue Venue is proper if P complies with the statutory rules to select the proper county to file the complaint. Venue can be based on either local, transitory, or mixed actions. P’s complaint does not involve property so the local venue rules are not applicable. P’s complaint has only one theory and is not a mixed action. In a transitory action, venue is proper where the defendant resides. In personal injury cases there is a specific venue rule. Venue is proper either where defendant resides or where P was injured. Here, Defendant resides in Denn County and P was injured in a car accident in Denn County. Where P resides, Coastal County, is irrelevant to venue. P’s complaint does not properly allege venue under either the general transitory rule or the specific personal injury rule.

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Therefore. P improperly alleged damages in the complaint because P stated medical expenses of $20. The discovery rule tolls the SOL until the P discovers or reasonably should have discovered the cause of action. if the SOL has tolled. D’s complaint is not properly filed because it lacks the proper prefiling notices.000. Demurrer D can file either a special or general demurrer. Punitive damages are also not to be alleged in a specific amount in the complaint. P’s complaint contains improper damage allegations.Pre-Requisites to Suit Certain types of lawsuits require Plaintiff to notify the Defendant before filing suit. However. Common grounds for a general demurrer include failure to state a claim or lack of subject matter jurisdiction. P went to many medical providers and wasn’t told by Dr.000 and punitive damages of $1. D’s Responses D has 30 days to respond to P’s properly served complaint to avoid being in default.000. And P wasn’t told until September 2011 that a cause of action existed against D. P did not give notice because D was “surprised” by the lawsuit and did not know P had not recovered properly. D is a county hospital and because it is owned and operated by the county. a general demurrer will not succeed. it ran in 2010 and a general demurrer is proper. P’s are not to allege the amount of the damages in the complaint. Lawsuits against the government and medical malpractice lawsuits both require notice to the D before filing suit. Instead. Here. Statement of Damages In personal injury cases. P should file a Statement of Damages alleging the amount of damages. Here. Thus. P is suing for medically negligent treatment which also requires a notice to D before suit. D has several options to consider. a notice should have been provided before filing suit. A demurrer is a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Here. Z until August 2011 that the D was responsible for P’s failure to promptly recover. D can bring a general demurrer alleging no jurisdiction. Here. If P’s claim for the 2008 car accident expired based on the expiration of the two year medical malpractice SOL. P’s delay in discovering the medical negligence is reasonable because P had serious injuries that required surgery and 2 .

3 . but this is not likely to be sufficient to trigger the SOL because P did not know D was medically negligent until August and September of 2011. not years. Here. D was “surprised” by the lawsuit and did not know P had not recovered. D is a county hospital and because it is owned and operated by the county. Z. In the absence of allegations of intentional or extreme misconduct sufficient to support punitive damage allegations. according to Dr. D can file a special demurrer based on the lack of proper notices before filing suit. P’s car accident was in 2008 and the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is 2 years. The complaint was not filed until October 31. P is alleging medically negligent treatment which requires notice to D before suit is filed. (See SOL tolling discussion under Demurrer above. Answer D can answer P’s unverified complaint with a general denial. P’s failure to provide one or both notices renders the complaint subject to a special demurrer. P is also suing a government entity. Here. D may argue that P was given follow-up instructions and told recovery should take only several weeks. which means that the SOL would ordinarily expire in 2010. 2011 was likely reasonable to prepare a medical malpractice complaint. D may move to strike the punitive damage allegations.) The SOL was likely tolled until 2011 but the facts give rise to the defense and it may be included in the Answer. (See Special Demurrer above. A motion to strike the entire complaint is proper based on the missing notices. was not intended to harm P.D told P that a full recovery would take several weeks. D’s answer must also contain all affirmative defenses or they will be waived.) D may also move to strike only the punitive damage allegations as improper because medical malpractice is based on D’s negligent medical treatment that. a notice should have been provided before filing suit. P’s relatively short delay from September 2011 to October 31. 2011. A general denial controverts and denies every allegation in the complaint. Motion to Strike D can move to strike either the entire complaint or a portion of it.

Cross-Complaint A cross-complaint would allow D to seek affirmative relief from P. D is seeking recovery for unpaid medical bills. the legal issues are quite distinct. Compulsory cross-complaints are barred if they are not brought in the same action. but if D’s crosscomplaint is compulsory. D will not have a SOL issue in bringing a cross-complaint to seek recovery of the unpaid medical bills. The court will consider whether there are common issues of facts or law in determining whether D’s claims for unpaid medical bills are related to P’s claims for medical negligence. D is suing for debt collection which is not the same legal theory as P’s claim for medical malpractice. the claims may be related if the bills are for the medical care due to the 2008 car accident. The damages are quite different. also known as compulsory. If the court does not find the claims to be related. The facts of plaintiff’s injuries and the proper treatment for them may be an issue in both claims. P is seeking recovery for personal injury. the claims may be unrelated if the medical bills are not related to P’s car accident but result from other hospital visits or care. when D’s claims against P are related to P’s claims against D. D’s claims can still be filed as a permissive cross-complaint because even unrelated claims by the D against the P are permitted to be filed in the same action. D must file it with an answer. A crosscomplaint is mandatory. On the other hand. The test is whether D’s claims are logically related to the claims in P’s complaint. On the other hand. Here. 4 . Because compulsory cross complaints relate back. There may not be overlapping facts if P’s debts are for unrelated injuries or treatment.

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