I was sued in small claims court and the judgement went against me. I made payments to the court as much as I could, but lack of work and caring for a disabled child, I had to stop making payments. I had a new hearing and I requested a continuance in which I mailed a written statement to the court 2 wks b4 the hearing, but an bench warrant was issued. I cannot afford payments on the judgement or bond for the warrant should I turn myself. Going to a bail bondsman is also out of the question because I can't afford anything at this moment as I don't have a job and I don't have reliable transportation to keep going to court. I have gone to several hearings and the plaintiff didn't even bother to show up. What are my options?
Criminal Defense Attorney
In order to get the bench warrant recalled, you should go to the small claims court. The court is not allowed to hold you just because you are unable to pay your debt. The warrant was issued because you did not appear for your court date. Once you get back to court, you should answer all questions and explain your situation. If you are truly unable to pay, the court will not hold you.
As for repeated court appearances, the judgment creditor has the right to check on your situation periodically. If you believe it is too often, raise that issue with the judge and see if there could be a reasonable amount of time between hearings.
You should also consider consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney. If your financial situation is bad enough, and if this type of debt qualifies, this debt and many of your other debts can be discharged.
I have taken no action on your problem other than to review your question. I want to confirm that no attorney-client relationship has been created between our firm and you in connection with this matter, and that nothing in this response is legal advice to you. As you may know, the legislature and the courts can change the law in ways that may affect the strength of your case. In addition, the circumstances of your case may change. Because we do not represent you, we cannot keep track of, and inform you about, any change in the law. I must warn you that there are time limits for raising certain claims and defenses. Without taking more time to review your case, this firm cannot properly advise about those deadlines. You may lose your claims and defenses if they are not filed in court within the time allowed. I would advise you to retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible.
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Family Law Attorney
File a Motion to Recall Bench Warrant and set forth your reasons why you failed to appear and asking the court to set a new date when you can appear.. You must always appear unless there is a court order excusing your personal appearance.