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Coninuance on court cases


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I have a case with LVNV on Aug 26th in VA.

I will not be able to make it and how do I make sure i can get a continuance. The clerk said she can only put a note in there and there would be no guarantee. The clerk told me to call the plaintiff and ask for them to agree to the continuance. do you think that is a good idea, LVNV are bastards on the phone. I am scared because my grounds of defense was filed late because my knowledge of the subject is so little and they might just go ahead andd file a judgement against me instead of a continuance.

What do you think an appeal would do? Do you think it is an option if it is the worst scenario. Thanks for all the help guys

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Just some thoughts.

1. I would not place any confidence in an appeal in the event your lose. In order to file an appeal, it takes a lot more than just you did not like the decision of the court. You must show where the court made a legal error than harmed you. The appeals court will reject your case if they don't see some good reason to hear the case. Also, appeals court is very formal, you do not have the skills and it is expensive.

2. You say you filed your answers late. Assuming you properly served a copy of the answer on the attorney for the plaintiff -- and the court has scheduled a hearing -- that failure on your part may not be terminal. The fact that you have very little knowledge may work to your advantage in that situation. However, the court is not going to carry you because you don't know what you are doing. The court really wants you to hire an attorney.

3. Regarding the continuance. I think you have several choices. I am making the assumption that you have read the local rules of civil procedure. If not, shame on you. The RCP contains instructions for what to do if there is a scheduling conflict. The answers I am giving you are based on a common RCP -- but yours might differ.

a. Call the attorney for the Plaintiff. Explain the nature of your conflict and ask to reschedule the hearing. If they agree, fine. If they don't, fine. In either event, you file a motion with the court for a continuance. In that motion you would say that you spoke to the attorney for the Plaintiff and they (agreed or disagreed) with the continuance. Explain why you need the continuance.

b. Talk to a local attorney. Ask the attorney to enter an appearance for you and represent you at the hearing.

c. Let the clerk put a note in the file. This option makes me nervous.

d. Reschedule whatever is the conflict, move heaven and earth, and be in court when you need to be.

That is all my ideas.

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It sounds to me as if you either aren't or at least don't feel qualified to navigate the legal system on your own in which case I would recommend retaining an attorney. However, for a $1,000 debt I'm not sure it's worth the expense; I would also assume that if you could afford to retain an attorney you could simply pay-off the debt.

I think the best advice to offer is that you either change your plans so that you can be there on your court date to defend your position or hope for the best by leaving a note.

However, it's been my experience that most states have a procedure for requesting a continuence which would allow you to know before hand if it had been granted or not; ('ve never heard of just "leaving a note" as the proscribed method!).

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