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What happens when you are sued but forced to move out of state midstream for good cause and appearances are now a hardship?

Elk Grove, CA |

I was served in Nov. 2011. I appeared January 2012. Other side asked for a continuance (implying nonexistent negotiations) till March 2012. It was granted. I appeared again in March 2012. A continuance was granted the other side until June 2012 (same reason). In May 2012 I had to quit my job and relocate from Hawaii to California to take care of my terminally ill daughter. I, with help, requested a continuance for that reason. It was granted until October 2012. I flew to Hawaii to appear in October 2012. Another continuance was granted the other side until January 2013 (same reason). That's 14 months of going nowhere. I did not mind the continuances before. But now it is a hardship to finance these flights back and forth. This is a $7,000 lawsuit. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 2


Have you ever talked settlement? People settle disputes all the time to avoid uncertainty in litigation.

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Your choices are very limited.

You can hire an attorney, assuming this is not a small claims court action, but that will cost you a good amount of the total in controversy.

You can move to change venue to a forum more convenient for you, but unless the majority of the evidence and witnesses are in the other venue, it is likely not going to be a successful move.

You can negotiate a settlement because the costs of carrying on the lawsuit will quickly make defending it unreasonable.

You can stop defending the case and a default will be eventually taken against you and the plaintiff will have a judgment to enforce against you.

Or, you can continue to do what you have been doing.

There are really no other viable alternatives. Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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