I filed my answer and appeared at the 1st case management hearing and the plaintiff's lawyer was a no show. Judge sanctioned plaintiff to show cause scheduled 1/14/10 along with 2nd case managment hearing continued that date. Now according to the court records it states:
HEARING RE: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY SANCTIONS SHOULD NOT BE ISSUED AGAINST PLAINTIFF FOR FAILURE TO FILE DEFAULT JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO CRC 3.740 is vacated. What does this all mean. Please help. Thank you
Vacated means that the court has cancelled or rescinded the Order to Show Cause Re Failure to File Default Judgment. The reason the OSC was vacated is because you did file an Answer. Therefore, there is no way and no reason for the plaintiff to obtain a default judgment against you, since you have already answered.
The OSC hearing against the plaintiff for their lawyer not showing up is still on calendar. As long as the paintiff's lawyer comes up with a reasonable excuse - sickness, etc., they won't get sanctioned by monetary penalty or otherwise. The court also apparently scheduled an OSC for the plaintiff not filing a default against you, but because you filed an answer, the plaintiff can't default you.
Consider whether you should even be fighting this lawsuit. If for example it's a credit card debt and your contract says you owe 24% interest until paid and legal fees for enforcing the debt, you might be better off not delaying a judgment, or trying to settle, assuming you have no good defense like an expired statute of limitations. A judgment accrues interest at 10% post-judgment interest, and if you're on the hook for their legal fees, it doesn't make sense to increase them.
Perhaps most importantly. if you saw a lawyer at the beginning of the lawsuit, you'd get some real advice about how and whether to defend yourself.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.