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

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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