What to do if my grandparents were served with papers for me but I have not lived with them in almost 10 years?

Collection agency trying to garnish my wages. My grandfather who was approached outside of his home is 86 years old and had just had cataract surgery in both eyes. According to my aunt, who was also outside helping him, the server asked if he was married to my grandmother then tossed the legal papers in the window of their minivan. I now have a default judgement against me .  

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You will need to file with the court a motion to set aside the default and serve it by mail on the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney.  Your argument in support of your motion to set aside the default should be that you were not properly served with the summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  If the judge grants your motion to set aside the default, the case will then be back on track and litigation will continue.  Then, you will need to file an answer to the complaint.  The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.

At the law library, look in the index of Pleading and Practice for motion to set aside the default and separately for answer to complaint.  Pleading and Practice will give you the general format for these items.  When you file documents with the court, attach a proof of service which will verify the date of mailing to the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney.  You can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are at least 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to ___________ (name and address of opposing party or opposing party's attorney) on ________ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom of the document.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file the document with the court.

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