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Need advice on a judgement

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I was called to the front office of my job today where the payroll secretary handed me a writ of garnishment stating that a company I have never heard of had recovered a judgement in circuit court against me for an amount I know I don't owe anyone for anything. There is no information included about what this is for, only the name of the law firm representing the plaintiff. Any advice on what I should do would be greatly appreciated.

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If you were not properly served with a summons, the court can vacate this default judgment. The court has no power to issue a judgment against you if you were not served according to law. The defense of improper service applies if (1) you never received the summons and complaint at all; or (2) you received the summons and complaint, but the manner of service was not correct.

First, find out which court issued the judgment. (In a debt collection case, you will most likely need to go to the civil court in the county where you live.) Next, go to the court that issued the judgment and find the civil court clerk's office. There, tell the clerk that you want to file an "Order to Show Cause." The clerk will give you a pre-printed form to fill out. On the Order to Show Cause form, you need to explain why the court should vacate the judgment.

You will need to state a reasonable excuse and a meritorious defense. The most common example of a reasonable excuse is that you did not receive a summons telling you to come to court. The most common example of a meritorious defense is "This is not my debt" (Remember that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish that you made or authorized each and every charge. You do not have to prove that the debt is not yours.) or "I dispute the amount of the debt." (Remember that the plaintiff has the burden to prove that you owe the amount for which you have been sued. The plaintiff must prove that the principal, interest, collection costs, and attorneys fees are all correct, agreed to in your contract, and lawfully charged. You always have the right to insist that the plaintiff come up with your original contract, account statements, and even purchase receipts, to prove the amount of the debt.)


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