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

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?

Elk Grove, CA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney - Irvine, CA

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... more
Alan James Brinkmeier

Alan James Brinkmeier

Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney - Chicago, IL

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

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