Why failing to show up to court will always hurt you!
Court Hearings - should I appear?
I'm often asked "do I need to show up to a court hearing?" I always tell people that unless you've retained a lawyer who will be attending the hearing, you MUST show up. Bad things (more on that below) can happen if you don't appear.
First hearing on a case
The first hearing on a case is often call the "return date." The name conveys the nature of the hearing; it's when the parties are to return to court. In small claims, each county handles the return date a little differently. So if you don't hire a lawyer, make sure you understand what is expected of you at the hearing. In some courts you will be expected to present your defenses and have a trial. Don't be caught unprepared in this situation.
What happens if I don't show up?
Here's the short answer to what happens if you fail to appear at a court hearing: bad stuff. If you don't appear, the court could "enter judgment" against you. This would operate as a lien on your assets and subject you to a wage garnishment. Getting a judgment undone (or "vacated" to use legal terms) is extremely difficult. it's far better to appear and understand the case (and tell your side of the story) than to risk a judgment.
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