How to Write a Defense Statement

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A defense statement is a legal document which contains the answer a defendant gives in response to an accusation, summons or complaint in a certain legal action. The response can be a denial, an admission or a non-admission to the allegations contained in the statement of claim. The information and explanations presented in the statement of defense determine the facts of the case which the defendant will present in the trial.

1 Read through the statement of claim

Read through the statement of claim you have received. Note the contents of each paragraph; each represents a separate allegation that you have to answer.

2 Visit the clerk

Visit the clerk of the courthouse that issued the statement form -- the court that will preside over your legal issue -- and obtain the required forms on which to prepare your defense statement.

3 Write down the name

Write down the name of the presiding court, the subject of the legal proceedings, the parties involved and the role they play in the legal claim and proceedings in the beginning of the form. Include the physical address of the parties and their contact information, such as their phone number.

4 Write a response

Write a response for every allegation given in the statement of complaint. Arrange your answers to coincide with the arrangement of the claims in the statement of complaint. For example, the first response you write on the defense statement should be an answer to the first allegation on the statement of complaint. Give a short explanation to back up your answer after each response; avoid long explanations which are difficult to support. Keep the information clear and to the point under the relevant headings and subheadings.

5 Attach supporting documents supporting

Attach supporting documents to the defense statement that support your defense and dispute what the plaintiff is alleging against you. Date and sign the document and include your current physical address and personal contact information, such as your phone number.

  • Conduct research on the rules and regulations in your state governing the drafting of defense statements in your state by visiting the law library in your county to investigate on the court laws relating to your case.
  • If you want to raise an action such as a counter- or cross-claim against the plaintiff arising from the facts of the case, you need to attach a document stating this action to the defense statement.

Rose Wright started writing professionally in 2004. She has been published in the monthly "Business Digest." Wright holds a Bachelor of Arts in media and journalism from Ryerson University and a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management.