What do I do if I was never notified of the courts decision until after the time to appeal had expired?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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What do I do if I was never notified of the courts decision until after the time to appeal had expired?

We went to small claims. My husband and I were “pro se”. We never received notice of the courts decision, therefore were never able to file an appeal. Today the opposing attorney calls me at work and told me that he thought I probably did not know the judge’s ruling and the appeal time has lapsed and the landlord is wanting to us to vacate immediately. Only giving us 48 hours. Why wasn’t I notified of the judge’s ruling. Knowing we were “pro se” they should have sent us notification by mail. Correct?

Asked on August 22, 2011 Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the "Due Process" laws of every state and the federal government, litigants are required to receive notice in a timely fashion about court decisions favorable or adverse. You need to go down to the clerk's office and review the file concerning the eviction proceeding and see what the ruling was, when it was sent to all parties, and to try and file any desired appeal even though the time to appeal is technically late.

In any appeal that you file as to the adverse decision, you need to state when you received the decision and that you did not delay in filing the appeal. Whether or not the appeal is rejected or not remains to be seen.

Another option would be to try and negotiate an accepable resolution of the dispute with the opposing attorney. One reason why you may not have received notice of the adverse decision from the court clerk is due to clerical error. Look in the court's file to see if the proof of service of the adverse decision was sent to your correct mailing address.

Good luck.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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