I'm a plaintiff suing 2 defendants, a business and 1 of the owners as an individual.
This business sued me in the past, as a corporation.
Now in my case against them, in discovery they're saying they're a general partnership, but they've never said this in any of their documents (2 answers and about 7 motions), they just use their business name (not "general partnership dba business name").
(Nothing is filed with state or county.)
They have a big law firm working for them, are they justified in doing this because I sued them using their business name and not "general partnership dba business name?"
It's generally considered a good thing for you to have the defendant admit it is a general partnership. The general partners are liable for the partnership debts (as opposed to being protected by a veil of limited liability, as would be the case if the defendant was a corporation). You might want to look at amending your Complaint to sue ALL owners (general partners), not just the one you named. Technicalities with the defendant's name can generally be cleared up post-judgment, especially where an inaccuracy is caused by the defendant's discovery response. Of course, this is not legal advise; as the other responses indicate, there is not sufficient information provided to give you complete counsel.
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We would be speculating as to why the defendants answered in the manner they did. Generally speaking, a general partnership is not required to file a fictitious business name statement in order to defend litigation. Perhaps in the past, the entity was a corporation but now it is just a general partnership.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
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If you haven't already, you can use the general formal interrogatories to discover the exact business entity of the defendant. Just be sure to mark all the questions in part 3, which seeks the general background information for businesses.
Discovery Form - 001 can be found at:
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your lawyer and I am not representing you in the underlying issue stated in your question. The response I have offered is not intended to be relied upon, you should seek out an attorney to assist in this matter.