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How do i dispute a judgement against me ?

Chico, CA |

i was not notified of this action or served . i did not no of my court date . i got a letter in the mail from the court saying i had a judgement against me . now my bank account has been levied .

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Attorney answers 3


You should check if the case has been dismissed. If it's been dismissed and closed, then you are likely out of luck. However, if not, then you should hire an attorney and could file a Motion to Set Aside the Judgment.

If your bank account has already been levied, then it sounds like the case may already be closed. I recommend that you immediately contact the creditor (i.e. the person who has the judgment against you) and settle the amount at a discounted rate. Once you've paid the amount off, make sure to get the levy extinguished to release the lien.


Do you dispute the debt or obligation altogether, or do you just want to delay the reality of having a judgment against you?

To get the opportunity to dispute the judgment, you (or your attorney) will need to make a motion to set aside default and vacate judgment. If the motion is granted, you will then have an opportunity to litigate the case.

If you believe you owe the debt or obligation but dispute the amount of money being levied or wages garnished (for example, because you are entitled to exemptions), you can file a claim of exemption.


When you find out that a judgment has been entered against you, normally by discovering that your wages are being garnished or the bank account has been frozen, you still have a couple of options.

In most States the Courts allow you to reopen and challenge a “default judgment”. Most States will allow a year to accomplish this. If you did not get the paperwork for the lawsuit, or you got the paperwork but never did anything, then the judgment was “entered” due to your default to file an Answer.

You have to bring a motion in the Court where the judgment is filed. That motion normally has to include a defense to the charges and a copy of your proposed Answer.

You should definitely get a local lawyer to help you with this, or seek the assistance of a Bankruptcy attorney to get rid of the liability. If you can’t afford a lawyer and you are being sued check out my website for a free form Answer.

Good Luck!

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Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and the fact that he has worked as an Assistant District Attorney; State Supreme Court Clerk; Special Assistant United States Attorney (Hawaii); Assistant Cornell University Counsel or Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps should not be relied upon to assume that these statements reflect the policy of these organizations.