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Got Judgment Vacated – Now They Want to Take Me Back to Court

July 24th, 2012 · No Comments · Legal Stuff

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: July 24, 2012)

Q. My job got a form June 12 for a judgement from 6/10/2004 that my check would be garnished this July. I went to a free legal service class and they filed papers for me to appear and fight this in court because I was not served properly in the case in 2004.

I went this morning and the marshal and the lawyer did not show up. I received a form which said “Decision/Order” stating that the judgment was vacated. Now I find out they still want to take me to trial. I showed up and they did not. I thought that I won the case. This is not over.

A. You did win the case, the judgment was vacated. However, civil cases do not have double indemnity (also known as double jeopardy) laws, meaning that just because some one took you to court once doesn’t mean they can’t do the same thing for the same debt again.

Be on the look out – this time they will most likely serve you properly. I would strongly advise fighting the suit – you can do it without a lawyer. Many people do represent themselves successfully in court, and you’ve been resourceful so far in getting free legal advisement.

We have complete documentation on answering the suit in our “I was sued” article. Things to remember when you’ve been served notice of a suit:

  1. Even if you’re intimidated and not sure you will win, make sure you answer the lawsuit. If you don’t answer the suit, you automatically lose. Answering the lawsuit will buy you time to get your defense together. We have sample forms on our site.
  2. You stated that the debt was from 2004. The statute of limitations is most likely up on this debt, unless you live in Kentucky or Ohio where the statute of limitation is longer than 9 years. If the statute of limitations is up, you have an absolute defense against the lawsuit.
  3. Make sure you insist on complete documentation via discovery requests. (You’ll find out about discovery in our “I’ve been sued” documentation, we gave you the link above.) Since the debt is so old, a creditor is unlikely to have good enough documentation to prove the debt is your or even that they have the right to take you to court in the first place.
  4. Visit our legal discussion boards. There you will find help from other who have gone through this process along with sample forms and documents you can use.

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