Can I be sued without signing documents for the case?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 21, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption