Cost of Defending Oneself Against a Lawsuit

Wrongful Death/Gross negligence type lawsuit. Hillsbourgh Circuit Court in Florida.

If there was a court fee for filing that answer, it was so nominal that I dont even remember it. I’m almost positive I just filed it and that was it. I had to send a couple copies to the oppossing counsel via certified mail as well. That cost a couple bucks, but filing it with the court didn’t cost a dime AFAIR.

Holy crap, thats expensive.

Here it is $79.00 for the Complaint and another $12.00 if you want the sheriff to serve the Complaint. The rest of the motions are free. It may be more expensive in the federal court but not much more.

Hijack- I’m assuming that the motion to strike is the same as a motion for summary judgment, correct?

A demurrer typically attacks one or more entire causes of action for failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a claim. The court looks only to the face of the pleading or to those things that are judicially noticeable.

EXAMPLE: Complaint alleges conversion of real property, which is not a recognized tort. File a demurrer.

A motion to strike typically attacks an entire pleading or specific words in the pleading where the words are irrelevant or the words or pleadings are not drawn in conformity with the law. The court looks only to the face of the pleading or to those things that are judicially noticeable.

EXAMPLE: The complaint claims punitive damages for negligence. File a motion to strike the words “punitive damages.”

If a complaint alleges conversion of real property (invalid tort) and personal property (valid tort), then the complaint would survive a demurrer because the perosnal property allegation would immunize the entire cause of action from demurrer. File a motion to strike against the specific words in the complaint that refer to “real property.”

A motion for summary judgment considers all evidence and basically alleges that a party is entitled to judgment based upon a lack of a triable issue of fact.


I would demur to Example 1 and Example 2 although I could see doing a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to the damages if later in the trial after a responsive pleading had been filed. You can demur to individual counts and even to the damages.

Here, a motion to strike is a motion for summary judgment. The only difference is that it occurs after the plaintiff has rested his case. An example being where the Plaintiff is alleging four counts, say Breach of Contract and three types of fraud. After he has rested his case, you make the Motion to strike saying he has not proved the elements of Fraud at which point, you get get judgment for the Defendant on those three counts.

I believe we call your “motion to strike” a motion for nonsuit, directed verdict, or judgment notwithstanding verdict.

We have a non-suit however that is completely different. It is the legal equivalent to a do-over for the plaintiff. You can nonsuit the trial at any point in time prior to the entry of summary judgment or the granting of a motion to strike. I’ve heard of it happening at trial prior to the judge making a ruling on the motion to strike. This restarts the process and the plaintiff can refile the case.