If a debt is settled prior to a scheduled court date, cana lawsuit be dropped without having to make an appearance?

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If a debt is settled prior to a scheduled court date, cana lawsuit be dropped without having to make an appearance?

A “friend” helped me rent a car with her credit card. When the bill was charged, I was unable to pay the total (due to loss of job). Immediately following this, this person filed charges against me and filed the suit. I have been trying to collect money so that I can pay her. I want to know if I can settle this without having to go to court? If I pay her directly, within the next month, can the suit be dropped? Or do I have to go through the court system? And what happens if I don’t go to court? (not that I would miss, just worse case scenario?)

Asked on May 5, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the lawsuit is settled prior to the scheduled court appearance, your friend will need to file a Request for Dismissal (court form) with the court.  The types of dismissal are with prejudice or without prejudice.  Dismissal with prejudice means the case cannot be reinstated.  Dismissal without prejudice means the case can be reinstated sometime in the future.

If you and your friend haven't signed the Request for Dismissal and therefore it is not filed prior to the scheduled court appearance, your friend could call the court and have the matter taken off calendar which means that the scheduled hearing will be cancelled.  The Request for Dismissal will still need to be filed.

If you don't appear in court for a scheduled hearing and haven't taken the above measures, you could be charged with failure to appear and a bench warrant could be issued for your arrest.  You could also be subject to monetary fines.


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