How to File a Response to a Summons if I Have an S-Corporation

By Terry Masters

An S corporation responds to a summons in the same way as a regular corporation. A summons informs the corporation that a person or entity has initiated legal action against it in court by filing a complaint. S corporations are typically owned by a small number of shareholders, so it is more likely that a summons issued to an S corporation will name the owners personally in the lawsuit, in addition to naming the corporation. The way the S corporation responds to a summons depends on who is named in the lawsuit and whether it has been filed in state or federal court.

An S corporation responds to a summons in the same way as a regular corporation. A summons informs the corporation that a person or entity has initiated legal action against it in court by filing a complaint. S corporations are typically owned by a small number of shareholders, so it is more likely that a summons issued to an S corporation will name the owners personally in the lawsuit, in addition to naming the corporation. The way the S corporation responds to a summons depends on who is named in the lawsuit and whether it has been filed in state or federal court.

Step 1

Read the summons carefully. The summons should have the complaint attached to it. Note whether the lawsuit has been filed in state or federal court. This will determine the legal procedure that will ultimately govern the action. The summons will list a date and time that a representative of the corporation must appear in court. It will also include instructions for filing a written response to the complaint.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now

Step 2

Hire a lawyer or decide to defend the corporation yourself. If you hire a lawyer, give him the summons. He will prepare the response and appear in court on the corporation's behalf. Alternatively, an authorized representative of the corporation can prepare its defense, such as a manager, officer or director. You must check with your state laws and your corporation's bylaws to be sure as to whether an officer or shareholder can represent the corporation. Collect any business information that will enable you to respond specifically to the factual allegations in the complaint.

Step 3

Draft an answer to the complaint. The answer must respond to each allegation in the complaint by stating that the S corporation admits, denies or has insufficient knowledge to admit or deny the allegation. The answer may also indicate any counterclaims and any legal defenses that the corporation plans to assert that provide justification for the facts specified in the complaint. For a complaint against an S corporation that also sues one or more shareholders personally, the answer can make a motion to dismiss the individual shareholders from the suit based on the limited liability protections inherent in the corporation entity format.

Step 4

File the answer with the clerk of the court. The summons will indicate when, where and how to file the answer with the clerk. Each court system has its own civil procedure, so the exact steps for filing the answer will depend on the state where the lawsuit is filed and whether it is filed in state or federal court.

Step 5

Appear in court to represent the corporation as indicated by the summons. Typically, if you need more time to respond, you can request an extension from the other party. Most civil procedure suggest or require that the other party grant the first request for extension.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now
How to File an Answer to a Summons for Visitation

References

Resources

Related articles

Documents Needed for the Respondents in a Divorce Summons

Receiving notice that your spouse filed for divorce can be a stressful experience. Most states require that the filing spouse have the other spouse personally served with the divorce paperwork, which typically includes both a summons and complaint. These documents provide a basic outline of the case and explain your initial responsibilities. Knowing how and when you must respond to this paperwork will help ensure your full participation in all aspects of the divorce process.

How to File an Answer to a Divorce Summons

When you receive a Summons and Complaint in a divorce action, you typically have 20 days in which to respond. Your response to the Summons is known as an Answer. If you have hired an attorney to represent you, she can prepare and file the Answer with information that you provide her. You can file the Answer on your own if you are not being represented by a lawyer in your divorce. Specific rules may vary by state, and the process can differ somewhat if you and your spouse have minor children.

How to Answer a Summons for Modification of Alimony

If your ex-spouse has filed a motion with the court to modify alimony and you disagree, you must file an answer to the summons you received. If you do not respond, the court will issue a default judgment in your ex-spouse's favor and she will get what she wants. How to answer a summons will depend on where you live and what the summons says.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How Many Days Does a Respondent Have in a Divorce in New York State?

Like most civil litigation, a divorce in New York state begins with the filing of a civil complaint and summons in the ...

How to Sue an LLC

You can file suit against a limited liability corporation, or LLC, just as you might file suit against an individual ...

How to Respond to Divorce Papers in Massachusetts

So, your spouse has just served you with divorce papers? Even if you were expecting them, staring at a divorce ...

The Right to Sue a Board Director

Although the board of directors of a corporation wields considerable authority over corporate affairs, shareholders are ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED