Defending Collection Lawsuits


To receive 1 hour of MCLE Credit, answer the test questions below, then hit Submit. Correct answers and a CLE certificate will be sent to you via email.

Test for Defending Collection Lawsuits
1. A valid method of service is to leave the summons and complaint in a conspicuous place in the shrubbery in front of the defendant’s house. *
2. If a defendant cannot be personally served, a summons can be served by leaving a copy at the defendant’s usual place of abode with a person over age 18, and thereafter mailing a copy to the person to be served. *
3. A plaintiff can always opt for service by publication if the plaintiff does not want to effect personal service on a defendant. *
4. A defendant must be served with a summons in order for the court to exercise jurisdiction over the defendant. *
5. It is a good idea to check the status of the case on the superior court’s online docket to determine if a default judgment has been taken, or if there are any court dates pending. *
6. A Summons states when the defendant must file a written response with the court in order to avoid a default judgment. *
7. If a complaint asks for money, it must state the amount requested. *
8. A corporation has the right to defend itself in a lawsuit without an attorney. *
9. In California, the statute of limitation for written contracts (which include most collection cases) is three years. *
10. Generally, a witness can testify about matters of his or her personal knowledge, as well as what he was told by his acquaintances. *
11. The business records exception to the hearsay rule allows business records to be admitted into evidence if the plaintiff is a bank or other big business. *
12. The “first appearance fee” must be paid by each defendant who appears and defends the lawsuit, unless a fee waiver is obtained. *
13. When the defendant files his answer in pro per, he can serve a copy of the answer on the plaintiff, and sign the proof of service. *
14. The court must hold a Case Management Conference within 6 months after the complaint is filed. *
15. The parties, or their attorneys if they are represented, must meet and confer no later than 30 days prior to the case management conference. *
16. At least 15 days prior to the hearing, each party is required to file with the court, and serve on the other party, a Case Management Conference Statement. *
17. The most likely results of a Case Management Conference are: 1. The court sets the case for trial. 2. The court continues the matter for a future Case Management Conference or 3. The court orders the case to mediation *
18. The court has the authority to order the parties to meet with a mediator, who can issue a judgment for either party. *
19. Interrogatories are verbal questions to which the defendant must respond verbally. *
20. The defendant has the right to serve discovery requests on the plaintiff. *

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