Tenant obtained a default judgment of $5,000 that includes amounts for security deposit that exceed actual security amount and for emotional distress related to me making repairs under the law, lease, and Housing Authority order, and a with scheduled appointment. I was present during the first hearing and told the judge tenant is not entitled to judge because of breaches and damages that were still accumulating. Tenant had no support with her that first hearing and judge would not dismiss claims. The case was continued for improper service. I wasn't present during the second hearing and a default judgment was granted. Court audio recordings I ordered cannot be accessed. I have communications with tenant where he acknowledged responsibility for damages, even after a police officer forced me to sign a document indicating she didn't owe. Court denied motion to vacate for violation of court rules (improper process). Hearing on motion was approved but during hearing judge ordered that it should not be contested. Thinking there would be fairness, I missed my window to appeal (or did I). Judge barred me from counter suing, after she had given me leave to do so...
You have 30 days from the date of the judgment to appeal to circuit court, assuming this case was in district court originally. If you filed your motion to vacate the judgment within 10 days of the entry of judgment, then the 30 day appeal time does not start to run until after the judge rules on your motion to vacate. However, if you filed your motion to vacate more than 10 days after entry of the judgment, then the 30 day appeal time runs from the date of the judgment regardless of when the court rules on your motion. So, you need to first determine whether your 30 day appeal time has expired. Once expired, that's it. There's no amount of arguing about what a great defense you had to the case, since it's too late to have those arguments heard once judgment has been rendered. Your issue about improper service was likely deemed waived once you made a general appearance in the case at the first court date and the trial date was continued. You have failed to explain (a) why you appeared at the first court date despite lack of service, and (b) why you did not appear at the rescheduled trial date after having appeared at the earlier trial date and were aware it was being postponed. If the 30 day appeal time has not expired, then you can file an appeal, which you must do in writing in the district court. The case will then be transferred to the circuit court. if you can't understand or figure out what your options are, then I suggest paying a lawyer to review the procedural posture of your case and get some badly needed advice.
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