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Are there any legal defenses for account stated?

West Palm Beach, FL |

In florida, what does a plaintiff have to prove in an account stated claim. also are there any legal defense. does the plaintiff have to attach any documents to the complaint in order to avoid a motion to dismiss?

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Attorney answers 3


There is case law that suggests that equitable causes of action, such as account stated, are not available if an express agreement exists concerning the same subject matter. I don't know if this is the case for you or not. You should consult an attorney who does debt collection defense work to examine the complaint that has been filed against you and determine what defenses, if any, are available to you. Keep in mind that once you have been served with a complaint, you only have 20 days to submit a response or you risk having a default judgment filed against you.

This answer is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. There may be relevant facts not included in the question that could change this answer. For specific advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.



when you say case law, i am assuming that means court cases right? could you provide me with the name of the case please!!!! I have tried to find an attorney, but can't afford their retainer agreements. trust me I wish I did not have to do this on my own. Thank for the great answer

Rebecca Clayton Lavie

Rebecca Clayton Lavie


First, I strongly recommend that you get legal counsel if at all possible. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should contact your local legal aid office to see if you can obtain pro bono representation. This is not something that you want to try to handle on your own. That being said, the cases that I have used in the past for this proposition are Ocean Communications v. Bubeck, Kovtan v. Frederiksen, and H&H Design Builders v. Traveler's Indemnity Company. Without looking at the complaint, I cannot tell you that these cases are applicable to your situation, and some judges are more likely to accept this argument than others.


Typically, all that is required is previous business transactions between the parties and an agreement on the balance. The agreement can be proven by averring an account statement was sent to the defendant and that the defendant did not object to the statement within a reasonable amount of time. They are required to attach a statement to the complaint, (some court will require more, most will not based on the Farley case) typically it is the final charge off statement.

See this posting that I did regarding account stated for some other information.

Information on Avvo should not be construed as legal advice. The response above is only for informational purposes and should not be construed as creating an attorney/client relationship. If you have further questions or would like to schedule a free consultation call 813-367-5128 or email us at


An Account Stated is based on the theory that if someone gets a bill and does not object, then there is a presumption that the amount of the debt is correct. That is a rebuttable presumption, which means the Defendant can claim that the document was not received, so the failure to object should create no presumption.

Florida law requires attachment of the document. In fact, the official form for Account Stated found in the rules of civil procedure says so.

I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.

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