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Q. on Vacating Judgment


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I have a judgment that was filed on October of 2001(in St. Louis, MO) and was, unforunately, properly served. I was served personally by the sheriff, showed up for court along with the plaintiff (a contractor who I hadn't paid) and the judge decided on the judgment amount after hearing from both of us.

My question is how (and if) I can get this judgment vacated. I read all the posts on here and did some research and this is what I found for the Missouri state law:

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RULE 74.06 RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT OR ORDER

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(a) Clerical Mistakes Procedure. Clerical mistakes in judgments, orders or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or omission may be corrected by the court at any time of its own initiative or on the motion of any party and after such notice, if any, as the court orders. During the pendency of an appeal, such mistakes may be so corrected with leave of the appellate court.

(B) Excusable Neglect Fraud Irregular, Void, or Satisfied Judgment. On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or his legal representative from a final judgment or order for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (3) the judgment is irregular; (4) the judgment is void; or (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment remain in force.

© Motion Under Subdivision (B) Effect on Judgment Time for Filing Notice of Hearing Service. A motion under subdivision (B) does not affect the finality of a judgment or suspend its operation. The motion shall be made within a reasonable time and for reasons (1) and (2) and (3) of subdivision (B) not more than one year after the judgment or order was entered. The motion and a notice of a time and place for hearing on the motion shall be served upon the parties to the judgment pursuant to Rule 54.

(d) Power of Court to Entertain Independent Action Certain Writs Abolished. This Rule 74.06 does not limit the power of the court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment or order or to set aside a judgment for fraud upon the court. Writs of coram nobis, coram vobis, audita querela, and bills of review and bills in the nature of a bill of review are abolished, and the procedure for obtaining any relief from a judgment shall be by motion as prescribed in these Rules or by an independent action.

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This was at http://www.courtrules.org/mociv.htm FYI.

I am comfortable with settling on an amount with the plaintiff and know I could do a satisfaction of judgment but really want it completely removed from my credit report if at all possible.

From the clipping, it looks like I could use number 4 or number 5 for my reason for filing, i.e. the judgment is void and/or paid.

I am confident that I could get the plaintiff to file this if necessary if it would make any difference in approval by the courts.(i.e. I can't pay you until after you file this motion and we have the court date to vacate it, which I think he would go for)

I also talked to my attorney about this and she stated that to do this sort of thing would run about $1,000 in fees.

My main questions are 1) if this is a way to get the judgment vacated since I WAS properly served and considering it was over 1 year etc. 2) If Yes, should I get my attorney to do it for me and if not then 3) should I assemble the motion myself or have the plaintiff file it?

Thanks a bunch for reading, and look forward to the replies.

MV

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