Can a Florida corporation file an answer to summons on its own (without an attorney)?

Asked over 3 years ago - Miami, FL

It's small company and we are being sued by our previous commercial landlord. We cannot afford an attorney anymore. I also want to file a subpoena to a third party, is this possible?

Additional information

The case is not in a small claims court.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Earl Kenneth Mallory

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . A business entity must be represented by counsel.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Unless you are already a client of the Mallory Law Group, pursuant to an executed employment agreement, you should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice. Earl K. Mallory ekmlaw@bellsouth.net (561)743-3708.

  2. Ron Renzy

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Only in a small claims matter. Otherwise a corporation must be represented by an attorney in Florida Courts.

  3. Ron Renzy

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . These can be filed by an attorney. You should ask an attorney what the pros and cons are of your options, including doing nothing.

  4. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Not unless the lawsuit was brought in Small Claims court. If not, your corporation will need to hire a lawyer.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  5. Theodore Lyons Araujo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Under some circumstances, a Florida corporation, including an LLC, does not have to have an attorney represent the corporation in Small Claims court. The collection of Florida Rules of Civil Procedure apply to all Florida court actions, including Small Claims Court. For Small Claims Court however, there are an additional set of Florida Small Claims Rules which apply only to that level of court. If you are going to continue representing your corporation in this proceeding, you should find a set of these rules at your local law library and get a copy.
    Most important to you is Small Claims Rule 7.050 "Commencement of Action; Statement of Claim" That is the rule which allows most corporations to sign their own statement of claim. Later in that rule it states: "A corporation may be represented at any stage of the trial court proceedings by an officer of the corporation or any employee authorized in writing by an officer of the corporation." So if you are an officer of the corporation, you are fine and have full authority. The rules also have a forms section, which includes a form for a corporate officer to give an employee written authority to represent the corporation in Small Claims Court. Although you CAN do it, if the other side is represented by an attorney, you should strongly consider whether you should engage an attorney also.
    Your opponent was quoting or referring to another Small Claims Rule, 7.090(f) "Appearance at Mediation" This rule suggests an attorney may appear at mediation alone, without the client, or a non-lawyer representative may appear with written authorization. No part of this rule cancels or trumps the first rule quoted above. If you are a corporate officer, you can still appear at mediation and do everything by yourself without a lawyer.

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