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Is it possible to reopen a case that was settled after the appeal deadline?

Eau Claire, WI |
Filed under: Litigation

Long story short, I was sued in another state and it has already been settled (wrongfully) i sent in a continuance to ask for additional time to seek legal advice, and not only was my request ignored, but the judge ruled in the favor of the plaintiff. I'm now going through a wage garnishment. The whole case is complete bull. They purchased an item from me online and because I wouldnt offer a full refund for the return of the item after 10 months of not hearing any sort of issues of their purchase. I offered numerous times ways to correct the problem but he refused, and wanted his money.

Am I able to still fight the case, or open it again, or is it too late? I'm considering filing for bankruptcy because there's no way I'm going to pay this person more than $5000 for a $400 purchase.

Attorney Answers 3


If you signed off on a settlement agreement, despite whatever appellate and collaterally offensive remedies you have available, it will be an uphill battle with quite a bit more attorneys expenses.
If you did not sign off on a settlement or authorize a settlement you may have a cause of action against whoever agreed to settle the case in your name without your authorization.

What state did this occur in? You need to talk to an attorney in the state where the judgment was rendered about the appellate options. In Texas there is something called a Bill of Review that can be used when a default judgment is taken. It is hard to tell on these facts whether that would be applicable even if your case was in Texas.

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To answer your question you need to speak to an attorney in the state where the case was.

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This sounds like a small claims case, meaning the cost of hiring an attorney to try and unscrew this mess after the fact may not be worth it from a cost benefit standpoint. If you are eligible for bankruptcy, go ahead and file, but it seems unlikely that this judgment alone will be sufficient to make you eligible if you have garnishable income. Making them collect you through wage garnishment is going to just cost you more money. You may just need to pay them, and if you are ever sued again, consult a lawyer on the front end immediately.

This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the specifics of the case.

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