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Can I be arrested if I do not respond to a letter I received?

Fort Lee, NJ |

There is a judgement on record from 2011. . I am unable to pay.. The lawyers put this judgement against me and subpoened me to appear and there was an agreement made before being seen by the judge. I stopped paying when I was unable to. For about 2 years I did not hear from these lawyers. Recently I received a letter from them asking for information such as back account & whether I am collecting welfare or unemployment or working etc. I didn't fill it out. I also did research on the internet in reference to these lawyers & I do not feel they are legal like they say they are. Today I received another letter from them asking for me to send them information again. The letter states that if I do not send them a response I can get arrested. Is this true?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. no. they can't arrest you on a civil judgment.

    I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.

  2. I say err on the side of caution. Show the letter to an attorney who handles debt collection and ask them what they think. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation and so you have nothing to lose.

  3. You can not be arrested for a civil judgment balance.

  4. It's hard to tell from your question what exactly you recieved. There is something called an information subpoena which in general should be responded to. I'd recommend that you get a free copy of your credit report at and contact an attorney who handles debt collection defense and bankruptcy.

  5. Yes you can potentially be arrested. Failure to answer an information subpoena could subject you to a contempt of court violation and that would be a basis to be arrested for violating a court order. It happened to a client of mine in the past.