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Received Request for Entry of Default without ever being served


CoachV
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Today we received a Form CIV-100 which is a Request for Entry of Default. From what I can tell it is from a law firm that claims they represent a third party debt collector. We have never received anything telling us that we were even being sued. We were never served and would have had no knowledge of this lawsuit unless we received this form. Prior to this we had requested a validation of debt both from the debt collector and the law firm stating they had been retained by the debt collector. Can the court render a default judgement if we have not been served? Also, the form is empty as far as any amounts being listed. It doesn't even say how much they are asking for in the judgement. Also, since this is the form sent to us directly from the law firm there is not a court stamp on it. What do we do at this point? What do we file in response to this, or do we even need to? We don't have money for an attorney, so any advice here would be helpful. A step by step instruction manual would be most helpful :!: Thank you so much.

CoachV

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I checked the public records, and yes there appears to be a suit filed against us 2 months ago. But as I said, we have never been served. What is our recourse to make sure that there is not a default judgement rendered? We haven't even been given a chance to reply to the lawsuit since we have not been served.

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I would suggest taking a trip to the courthouse. Find out if there is a case against you, and if there is one, take a form to Vacate a default judgment. you will ask the judge to vacate it for improper service. You might also grab a form to waive filing fee, fill it out and give back to the clerk. Here is the link to CA Rules of Civil procedure, find Title 5, Chapter 4 on service of summons, and your grounds for requesting to vacate a judgment will be the fact that you were never serves according to appropriate section http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=ccp&codebody=&hits=20

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....

but where I live it's called ' the court lacks personal jurisdiction due to improper service.

Go to your courthouse and ask to see your file ..... find the proof of service document that the process server had to file ..... look for any discrepancies. Were you present at the location at the time they claim they served you? Were you nailed and mailed? .... etc.

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So I went to the court the very next day after receiving the request for default and asked to see if there was indeed a suit brought against us... and sure enough, there was, AND there was a notice of service! It said that they served my husband here at the house. He was not served! That is a flat out lie. It is past the 30 days to file an answer, but the clerk said to go ahead and file one anyway since they didn't have the request for default in their files. Is this correct? As long as I get the answer in before they ask the court for default judgement will they still take it? I also had my husband make a sworn affidavit that he was not served and we asked them to put it in the file. How can they say they served when they really didn't? Is the clerk correct in telling us to go ahead and file an answer? She said we couldn't file a motion to vacate judgement because they hadn't received the request from the debt collector yet. I can't believe we could get a judgement against us because they lied about serving us. Any advice?

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Guest usctrojanalum
It is past the 30 days to file an answer, but the clerk said to go ahead and file one anyway since they didn't have the request for default in their files. Is this correct?

Yup.

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I spent all weekend formulating an answer and went first thing this morning to file it at the courthouse. They accepted it (along with $355), and gave a case management hearing date. However, they said they are also way behind on entering filings that were mailed and if for some reason they received the request for default in the mail last week and it just wasn't entered yet, then the hearing will be vacated and the default judgement given. I guess at that point we will have to file a motion to vacate the judgement. Does anyone know how hard this is to get? My husband already did an affidavit and entered into our file that he was not served as their paperwork said. Do judges normally grant this motion? At this point should we get an attorney, or is this something we can win on our own? I just want to make sure we get our day in court.

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