An answer to a verified complaint in California is the topic of this blog post.
An answer to a verified complaint in California must be verified if the complaint has been verified by the plaintiff or their attorney verifying that the facts stated in the complaint are true. The verification is typically found at the end of the complaint and any attached exhibits.
Most civil complaints in California are not verified unless there is a particular statute or code that requires that a particular cause of action be verified. However I want to point out that any plaintiff can choose to verify their complaint. Although this blog post will refer to an answer to a verified complaint in California the same principles discussed here also apply to cross-complaints.
If a complaint is verified the answer must be verified and any answer to a complaint filed by a governmental entity must be verified whether or not the complaint is verified pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 446. Note that this rule only applies to unlimited civil cases, where the demand of the complaint exceeds $25,000.00.
An answer to a verified complaint in California must admit or deny each and every paragraph of the complaint, and must also contain a verification signed by the defendant or defendants or their attorney stating that they have read the answer and everything contained therein is true and correct to the best of their knowledge. The verification must be signed under penalty of perjury. I want to stress that failure to file a verified answer when one is required will subject the answer to a motion to strike on the grounds that it is not verified.
As stated earlier, defendant must admit or deny each and every paragraph of the complaint. Admissions or denials generally consist of the following:
- Defendant denies the allegations of paragraph 1. (example only).
- Defendant admits the allegations of paragraph 2. (example only).
- Defendant has no information or belief that the allegations of paragraph 3 are true so defendant denies them. (example only).
Any allegations of the complaint that are not specifically denied are considered admitted so it is critical that all of the allegations of the complaint that can be truthfully denied are in fact denied.
An answer’s “failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a defense” may be raised at any time (i.e., no waiver). But the other grounds for challenging the sufficiency of the answer must be raised by demurrer, or are automatically waived. See Code of Civil Procedure § 430.80(b).
However an answer to a verified complaint in California should also contain specific affirmative defenses that are tailored to the individual case. This is due to the fact that an answer that contains nothing but “boilerplate” affirmative defenses is vulnerable to a demurrer on the grounds that the answer fails to state facts sufficient to state any defenses to the complaint.
A California Court of Appeal ruled in the case of FPI Development, Inc vs. A1 Nakashima, (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 367, 384 that the affirmative defenses alleged in an answer to a complaint must be pled in the same fashion, and with the same specificity, as a cause of action in a complaint. Because conclusory allegations are not admitted by demurrer, and because conclusory allegations have no pleading value, conclusory and “boilerplate” affirmative defenses are insufficient.
I suggest avoiding the use of generic or “boilerplate” affirmative defenses whenever possible.
Any allegations of the complaint that are not specifically denied in an answer to an verified complaint in California are deemed admitted.
Sample answer to a verified complaint in California for sale.
Attorneys or parties in California who wish to view a portion of a sample answer to a verified complaint in California for sale by the author can see below.
Over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation for sale.
To view more information on over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation visit: https://legaldocspro.myshopify.com/products
The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and retired litigation paralegal that worked in California and Federal litigation from January 1995 through September 2017 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale.
Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/ for more information.
Follow Stan Burman on Twitter at:
Follow Stan Burman on Google Plus at:
Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.