How to get a default judgment in a lawsuit vacated or set aside?

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

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How to get a default judgment in a lawsuit vacated or set aside?

A default judgement was entered against me almost 2 1/2 years ago while I was on active military duty. I had no knowledge of the summons and complaint or the notice of judgement lien; I was not personally served. Court records show that the summons and complaint was allegedly served on someone at my mother’s address, though that person did not sign. The notice of judgement lien was sent via certified mail but returned to sender. Now, the court is trying to seize my van.

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can file a motion to set aside the default.  Your argument is that you were never served and therefore did not have an opportunity to timely file an answer to the complaint with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party.  File your motion with the court with an attached proof of service and serve the opposing party by mail.

If the court grants your motion, the case will then be back on track and litigation will continue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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