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Sued by Cavalry in CA but They Lied about Service

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Hi - this is my first post. I couldn’t find anything in the existing threads that related to my situation exactly, I hope someone can help. 

In September 2016 I was sued by Cavalry for a Citibank credit card debt in California. However, I was never home when they attempted service and I guess eventually they got tired and decided to just leave the summons on my doorstep. This is not proper service in CA. They are required to serve me directly or else deliver to someone at my house or work who is over the age of 18 or alternatively send it by registered mail. They did none of this. At the time I was aware that they did not serve me properly but I didn’t know what to do about it. I never responded, since I knew by answering I would be accepting service. 

Fast forward to this week, when I received a letter from Cavalry with form CIV-100 Request for Entry of Default Judgement. First thing I did was go to the court to have a look at the file. Interestingly, the Request for Default has not been filed with the court yet. Also, in November 2016 process server filed a Declaration of  Diligence and Substituted Service where they declared that after three attempts to serve me, they left the summons at my house with “Jane Doe”, who they describe with my age, height, hair color and weight. This is a total lie. I wasn’t there at the time, I was at work and I have timecards to prove it. It seems that they know they didn’t serve me properly, but they just went ahead and lied about it in the proof of service. Go figure. 

I would like to get the whole thing thrown out based on the improper service, but is it too late for that? If I do go that route, what is the proper motion to file? Motion to Quash or Motion to Dismiss? Or do I go straight to filing a Motion to vacate the judgement even though they haven’t filed it with the court yet? I’m feeling a bit stuck and would really appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks!

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