Collections Law/Filed Answer received Motion Default Judgement
I received a summons but they forgot to attach the complaint. I sent a letter to the attorney advising no complaint was attached and requested information. Sheriff will not issue ammended service since I cannot prove I did not receive it when they served me. I filed an answer and sent it to the attorney stating I have no complaints to reply to. I filed the answer just to have something on record so they would not get a default judgement. The next thing I get is a copy of their motion for default judgement stating I did not reply to the complaint. The attorney called and said they could dismiss the case and re-file it making sure I get the complaint, or just send me the complaint now and save filing another case. Can I request the case be dismissed based on they said they did not receive an answer when they did ? What should I do now ?
Hello again Mary:
Your question was "The next thing I get is a copy of their motion for default judgment stating I did not reply to the complaint. The attorney called and said they could dismiss the case and re-file it making sure I get the complaint, or just send me the complaint now and save filing another case. Can I request the case be dismissed based on they said they did not receive an answer when they did? What should I do now?"
Under these circumstances, I wouldn’t trust what that attorney said for a second. He’s not going to dismiss the case and refile it - why should he? From his standpoint he is on the verge of obtaining a default judgment. He’ll refile allright, but it won’t be to file another complaint that he apparently thinks he already has good service for. What he will do is instead file paperwork to garnish your wages or seize your property after he gets a default judgment against you.
You have to properly respond to the paperwork (the motion for default judgment) immediately and file the appropriate motion(s). The letter you sent may get the judge’s attention and default will not be entered, but I doubt it. They process these requests for default without hardly even looking at them.
So, at this point, what do you do? You have three choices: do nothing and get a default against you; fight them on the basis of the present claim that you were served when you were not; or have the debt discharged.
As we spoke in your last question to me (that I previously answered), it is much easier for me to give you a full and complete, detailed answer if we just talk on the phone. I will not charge you just to talk on the phone. If you call me at the number listed below, we can specifically discuss what your options are and how much it would cost if I were to help you. Please feel free to call me at any time you wish.
One thing for sure, though, is that you need to act fast on this if you are going to challenge their service on you and keep from getting a default judgment.
Jack Hall (J.D.)