How do I proceed after being served by court ina jurisdiction in which I no longer reside?

Recenty I was served by a collection agency law firm, however, I have lived outside of the jurisdiction of the court it was filed in for over 2 years. I don’t want to miss answered the complaint in time but should this be dismissed and if so, what is my first step?

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  Since the claim arose in that judicial district where you formerly lived, the lawsuit can be filed there.  Therefore, it won't be dismissed for that particular reason.  You will need to file a timely answer to the complaint in that court where the lawsuit was filed and also serve it by mail on the opposing party.  if you do not live near that court, you can have someone file the answer to the complaint for you with the court.  Another possibility might be to file electronically if that particular court allows that.  You would need to check with the court clerk to see if filing electronically is permissible. As for future court appearances in the case, the judge might allow you to do a telephone appearance. This would depend on the particular judge and compliance with local rules regarding timely filing the appropriate documents requesting a telephone hearing.  This would be later in the case and not at this time where you are simply filing an answer to the complaint If you don't timely file your answer to the complaint and serve it on the opposing party, a default judgment will be entered against you.  This means you lose by default.  If that happens, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants your motion, the lawsuit is then back on track and litigation will continue.

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