I found out on my credit report that I have a judgment against me. I received no notice to inform me of the "date in court". I called the court and they said I was served "Fix&Mail". I never showed up for the court hearing therefore a default judgment was entered against me.
After doing some research I found out that the serving company was under investigation through State Attorney General and found guilty of filling false served records. Basically they lied about leaving "court appearance" papers at the door or mailing.
How can I use this information to vacate the judgment? What procedure should I follow?
Thanks in Advance.And; What papers (forms if any) should I fill out?
If its a civil court judgment, go down to civil court and ask the clerk if they have draft motion to vacate default judgments. Most of the clerks have a fill in the blanks form for just such an occasion. You will need to sign an affidavit stating you were not served, and will likely need to demonstrate a good defense against the claim. It wouldn't be a bad idea to attach the "evidence" that you had that the serving company had "ethics" issues.
The clerk of the court has pre printed forms that you can use. Essentially you are filing an order to show cause to have a default judgment vacated. There are two elements that you would have to establish. First excuseable default. This is where the court wants to know why it is that you never showed up in the first place. The simple answer to that is that your claiming that you were never served and never knew about the court case (this is where the process serving agency being under investigation helps you). The second element is that you would have to show that you have a meritorious defense to the suit. Here is where you get to deny that you are the person that owes any money. Keep in mind that even if you prevail and win this OSC that simply means that the lawsuit now gets to move forward. If you really were never served your first order of business after the OSC is to file a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Things could get a bit complicated so you may wish to speak to an attorney about helping you. Good luck
VACATE JUDGEMENT ON DEBT
The prior answers are correct on vacating the judgement, however I did want to add that if this judgement came as a result of "sewer service" done by American Legal Process you may have more remedies than just vacating the judgement.
You may have a separate legal claim against the law firm that filed the action in the first place. The Attorney General's investigation that you refer to in your question required each and every law firm that utilized American Legal Process to contact consumers who were affected and offer than several remedies (one of which was to vacate the judgement if appropriate), based on your question it appears that this may not have happened to you and so you may have a legal claim against the law firm.
I would recommend that you have an attorney knowledgeable about this settlement agreement review your paperwork and discuss your alternatives, many firms (including mine) offer a free initial consultation so you have nothing to lose.
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