If I am sued in a civil court in another state and cannot hire an attorney in that state or even travel there, will it be an automatic default judgement?

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If I am sued in a civil court in another state and cannot hire an attorney in that state or even travel there, will it be an automatic default judgement?

Asked on May 10, 2012 under Business Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you don't file an answer to the complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) with the court and serve your answer to the complaint by mail on the opposing party within the time set forth in the summons, a default judgment will be entered against you.  You may be able to file your answer to the complaint by mail or electronically or have someone such as a process server near the court's location file the answer to the complaint for you.  Check with the court to find out if that court allows you to file electronically.  Although it would be preferable to have an attorney in the state where the lawsuit was filed represent you, you could have an attorney in your state represent you.  This will be costly since the attorney may need to travel to the other state.  It is also possible that the attorney in your state could appear by telephone to represent you at court appearances.  If you can't afford an attorney, you may be able to participate in court proceedings by telephone.  Check with the court clerk to obtain the required documents for a telephone appearance and don't miss the filing deadline for filing your request for a telephone appearance or your request wiill be denied.


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