I was not served w/ sexual harassment claim with DFEH or her right to sue. Can I dismiss the Superior court case b/c of that

Asked almost 2 years ago - Newport Beach, CA

I was wrongly sued by a woman falsely claiming sexual harassment by me and 3 others at work. She knows that I never harassed her, but her lawyer included me in the complaint anyway. Her attorney filed a claim with DFEH in june, 2011 and named me as an individual, but never send me a copy of the complaint or right to sue notice. She filed a superior court case in Dec. 2011 and served everyone but me. They settled and now she served me trying to extort money. Can I dismiss the complaint against me since no one ever sent me a copy of her dfeh claim or right to sue notice? Also, if she loses in court, does she have to pay my attorneys' fees. She is lying, lying, lying; I never sexually harassed her, ever!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael Robert Kirschbaum

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to retain an attorney...now! Avvo is not the place to try to get free general legal advice when you have been served with a lawsuit. The attorney must be able to review everything before you can get valuable legal advice. Only then can it be determined how to respond to the lawsuit, which must be answered or demurred to within 30 days of service. You can search here on Avvo, using the Find a Lawyer function, looking for employment law attorneys who represent both plaintiffs and defendants.

    They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion... more
  2. James Carl Eschen III

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Mr. Kirschbaum is absolutely correct.

    To answer your question, neither whether the complaint was supposed to be served on you nor the consequences for not dong so is clear. Who was supposed to serve you depends on the type of complaint and whether she had an attorney. If she filed a complaint without an attorney, or if she filed a complaint seeking an immediate right-to-sue notice, the DFEH was supposed to serve you with a copy. If she had an attorney and filed a complaint asking the DFEH to investigate, the attorney was supposed to serve you. The courts have not dealt with the consequences when the attorney fails to serve you.

    If her complaint is completely without merit, the court may order her to pay your attorney's fees. In that event, you could also obtain reimbursement for your fees from your employer because you incurred them in the course of your employment.

  3. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Kirschbaum is correct. There are several potentially advantageous legal strategies that you could possibly use, but without knowing all of the details of the claims and the procedural history of the suit, you cannot get that kind of advice here. I strongly suggest you find an attorney quickly to consult. You might be able to get out of this quickly, maybe not. You will not know until you find the attorney you need.

    One other thing: sexual harassment does not simply mean you engaged in some direct action toward this person. For instance, you can commit sexual harassment by engaging in either sex-related or gender-bias-related banter with others in the office that creates a sexually/gender-based hostile work environment. There are other ways as well. This means it is doubly important that you consult with an attorney right away. Do not assume this is no big deal. It is.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more

Related Topics

Personal injury and defamation

Defamation is any type of emotional or psychological personal injury that occurs when someone intentionally harms another’s character or reputation.

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