I was late for court for a motion I filed what can I do?
I really should have an attorney doing this for me but I can't afford one and I go blank during public speaking and in front of authority anyway. And don't judges read your motions first, instead of making you explain it? How do they expect me to oppose an attorney who has 40 years of experience of doing this when I just barely learned what a motion even is! This was a motion for a to set aside a judgment for default based on improper notice for a Unlawful Detainer that I had clear evidence on and a witness with me.
Do I still have the six-month time line of when the judgment was filed against me also or does the fact that I tried to file a motion already give me more time and what form would I use? Thanks if anybody can advise.
2 attorney answers
I agree with Ms. Campbell. If you can't afford an attorney, you may be able to get help from a local tenants rights or legal aid organization.
In any event, if the judge already ruled on your 473 motion, you usually can't simply file another one. The proper approach would normally be to file a motion for reconsideration under Code of Civil Procedure Section 1008 (IF you have statutory grounds, which is unclear), or file an appeal.
You may also have a problem if you planned on having live witness testimony to support your motion, rather than filing appropriate witness declarations with your moving papers. Judges generally don't allow live witness testimony at motion hearings, and you also have to make a formal written request (im compliance with the Cal. Rules of Court) for permission to have live testimony.
You should try to get the motion placed back on the calendar. If you walked in five minutes late and the Judge was considering the motion, you should have spoken up right then.
But listen, there's a much bigger problem. You're not competent to handle this situation, which you have admitted. You need to hire an attorney ESPECIALLY if a default was entered against you. Do it now, or you will very likely be evicted with an eviction judgment on your record. That's not good.
Do not wait. This is an emergency.
Important things to remember: 1. The fact that I answered a question that you asked me on line, doesn't make me your lawyer. 2. Make sure that the person whose advice you are taking on this forum knows what he or she is talking about. Lawyers get "points" for answering questions, which improves their ratings, so they are incentivized to answer questions in areas of law they are unfamiliar with. Many lawyers from other states answer questions on Avvo about California law, which they are not qualified to do or legally allowed to do. If the answering lawyer is from a different city than the one you live in, keep in mind that that lawyer may not be familiar with LOCAL CITY laws that might affect your tenancy.