Can I be sued without signing documents for the case?

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Can I be sued without signing documents for the case?

Someone has sued me and had a judgement issued for a suit I never received paperwork for. The judgement was for $7800 in another state. I’ve lived in my current state for 23month’s. The postcard that should only arrive after paperwork was signed arrived, meaning that it was signed, which I never did. Is there any other way, short of forging my signature, that this case could have proceeded, and even had a judgement issued in my absence “shy” of having those papers forged? I’ve checked online and the case should be thrown out without signed proof, yet the claim is that a judgement was rendered. Did the person suing me commit a federal offense to make this happen or is there something I’m missing?

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were never served, there was no jurisdication over you--that is, the court had power over you. Therefore, if you were  not served, you should be able to do at least one of the following:

1) Make a motion to the court issuing the judgment to vacate (or set aside) the judgment for lack of personal jurisdiction; then when the case has been opened up, you could move to dismiss for failure to serve.

2) Appeal the judgment to the next-higher court (the appellate court) on the same grounds.

Given how much money is at stake, you would be well-advised to retain an attorney to help you make these procedural motions or file an appeal.


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