What is my optionsagainst a creditor that has filed suit against me?

Just received a solicitation mailing by an attorney for my business in a lawsuit versus a creditor that he said was listed in public records in my county. I checked the records on-line and he was right but the case is listed as filed as of 5 months ago and as open. Am I supposed to receive something in writing, possibly even requiring my signature, beforehand? What are my options if I’m in a poverty situation?

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should have been served with a summons and complaint by a process server since the case was filed five months ago.  The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons.  After being served, you would have to file an answer to the complaint with the court within the time period specified in the summons (usually thirty days in CA). You would also have had to serve by mail the answer to the complaint on the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney. The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.  If an answer to the complaint is not timely filed with the court, a default judgment would be entered by the court upon the request of the plaintiff.  This means that you would lose by default.  If that happens or happened, you will need to file a motion to set aside the default.  Your argument in support of your motion to set aside the default is that you were never served with the summons and compalint.  If the court grants your motion to set aside the default, the case is then back on track and litigation will continue. 


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