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What happens after I file my answer to summons?

Newport Beach, CA |

OK, I filed my answer to summons (california) and it's been over 30 days and I have not seen or heard anything from this credit card collection company or the court! I have been checking the court case on line to see if they have filed anything else but so far nothing. Should I file a motion to dismiss? Or just leave it alone?

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Attorney answers 4


This is normal. The next step for the court will likely be to set a hearing for a pre-trial conference or something similar. If you have any grounds for dismissal, that should have already been filed unless the ground is failure to prosecute which likely has not elapsed as of yet.

This is not legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should seek the guidance of local legal counsel.


Just leave it alone. You do not have any basis to file a motion to dismiss. Civil cases take quite a long time. You will not likely hear anything or receive anything for several months. If your case is an "unlimited jurisdiction" case, the court will set a Case Management Conference in about 4 to 5 months from now.

You may also be receiving "discovery" from the credit card company. This process is the exchange of evidence which occurs before trial. None of the discovery documents are filed with the court.

If your case is pending in the Orange County Superior Court, you can take a look at the online case status at:


Within 180 days after the date the original lawsuit was filed, the court will typically set a case management conference which will then set the schedule for trial, mediation and most other court-related items. In the meantime, though, you can contact the attorney and discuss settlement ideas and/or propound discovery. Waiting is not the best idea ever.

Joshua P. Friedman received his juris doctorate from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles and his bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed attorney specializing in collections and judgment enforcement. He has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the past 3 years by Los Angeles Magazine. Josh lectures regularly on issues relating to collections and judgment enforcement, including local bar associations and for National Business Institute (NBI) for continuing legal education credit. Josh currently also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the California Creditors Bar Association and Vice President of the California Association of Judgment Professionals.

Disclaimer of California Attorney
Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.

Joshua P. Friedman


Since you are posting to the bankruptcy area for answers, I assume you may be considering bankruptcy. While it is correct that you may do nothing further and leave the next move to the creditor as advised previously, do bear in mind that eventually, short of dismissal, this claim will eventually lead to a judgment.

Should that occur, and again assuming that you will be found liable for some or all of the charges on the account, a money judgment, once entered, is the basis for the creditor to seek issuance of an abstract of judgment. Once recorded in the office of the County Recorder, that abstract results in the creation of a judgment lien on any real property you own in Orange County, including your home. While judgment liens that impair your right to claim a homestead exemption can be avoided (made to go away), doing so is an additional step with costs and attorney's fees.

You can avoid the problem by instituting the bankruptcy before the creditor has obtained the judgment. Sometimes, a little planning can save a lot.