If I received a “Notice of Trial” letter from the court whichlists me as a defendant but I have not been served summons or complaint, what should I do?

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If I received a “Notice of Trial” letter from the court whichlists me as a defendant but I have not been served summons or complaint, what should I do?

I live in GA. I am listed as 1 of 3 defendants in a case involving a former business partner. The former partner is suing in small claims court for recovery of unpaid expenses he claims to have incurred for a property that we considered purchasing. The property was not purchased. It appears that the other 2 defendants were also not served with a summons or complaint.

Asked on April 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could move to dismiss the matter, on the grounds that you have never received a summons or complaint. If you want to do this on your own (no lawyer), you should be download a copy of the court rules and make a motion. Alternatively, you could show up for trial and make a motion in court for dismissal on the above grounds. Generally, it's a better idea to move in advance; however, unless the case against you is absolutely dismissed prior to the trial date, make sure you show up at court (not showing up is the quickest way to lose). Bring all relevant documentation to court.

Ideally, you should retain an lawyer to represent you; if you don't think it's worthwhile, you may wish to consider whether you should either pay the requested amount or else try to settle for something mutually agreeable.


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