Stockton, CA asked in Collections for California

Q: I've been served with a judgement against me. other party states I was served 6/12/12 in San Jose I lived in Stockton.

I was living in Stockton at that time and was never served. Just got the judgement through the mail 6/29/20. Judgement is for 16k original balance 8 years ago 8k. Other party will not take less than 10k

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3 Lawyer Answers
Gregory Mark Fitzgerald
Gregory Mark Fitzgerald
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your options are to file a Motion to Vacate the Judgment, settle it, or file bankruptcy (if available and desired). A lot more information is needed in order to properly assess the merits of any Motion to vacate.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A court obtains jurisdiction over you when a Summons and Complaint is served in accordance with legal requirements. This situation you describe occurs all the time, especially with collection agencies, who employ process servers that deliver to the address and sign under penalty of perjury that they delivered the documents to the person named. You can go to the Court website and get copies of the proof of service on the Summons/Complaint, to see where and when you were supposedly served or if it was even at your residence. Please note you now have a judgment against you listed with the Credit agencies like Experian, and it will negatively impact your credit, which is called "Slander of Credit" and he process server and his company, and the Plaintiff could be liable for any damages you incur as a result of this slander. You need to hire a Civil Litigation Attorney to get the judgment reversed, as Mr. Fitzgerald writes you in his response. Hire one where the judgment is pending.

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Nathan Wirtschafter
Nathan Wirtschafter
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Encino, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b), the Court can relieve a party of a default judgment due to "his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect."

Also, the court may, upon noticed motion, set aside any void judgment or order. (Code Civ. Proc. § 473(d)). The law is settled that courts of record have inherent power to set aside a void judgment, where, for example, service is improper and the defendant does not actually receive the summons and complaint. (Rogers v. Silverman (1989) 216 Cal. App. 3d 1114, 1122).

The law strongly favors trial and disposition on the merits. Therefore, doubts in applying Section 473's provisions allowing relief from default are resolved in favor of the party seeking relief. (Miller v. City of Hermosa Beach (1993) 13 Cal.App.4th 1118, 1136.) Notwithstanding, the trial court's discretion to afford relief may be exercised only if the defendant establishes a proper ground for relief, by the proper procedure, and within the proper time limits.

You need to find an attorney quickly to help you with this judgment.

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