If there is a court date tomorrow for an automobile accident but I was not officially served by the other party, am I obligated to show up tomorrow?

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If there is a court date tomorrow for an automobile accident but I was not officially served by the other party, am I obligated to show up tomorrow?

I was involved in an automobile accident. There is an court date set tomorrow. I was not officially served by the other party, so am I obligated to show up to court?

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are better off showing:

1) Even if there was a defect or problem with service, sometimes if you know of the suit--you have actual knowledge, regardless of how service was made--you are  held to have been effectively or constructively served.

2) Even if the above does not apply, if there is court date, it appears the court believes service was good--that's why the date is scheduled and has not been adjourned or the matter dismissed.

3) You could be misunderstanding the situation, and maybe service was good.

In any event, if you don't show to a scheduled court date, you may have a default entered against you, and would then have to try to have it set aside. It is better to appear and raise the issue of improper service, in my experience.


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