Santa Clara, CA asked in Consumer Law and Bankruptcy for California

Q: I have been sued for a credit card debt. If I prove that service was not properly done wha happensto the amount owed?

The suit was for $9000 ten years ago and with interest it is now $13000. The process server never saw me. I cant

remember if they left any papers at my door. I called the law firm and the process server but got no reply. Does the Superior court hold records showing how the service was done? Somewhere I read that three attempts must be made.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Leon Bayer
Leon Bayer
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Unfortunately, it is simply too late to complain. The court file will contain the records, so to satisfy your curiosity you can look at the affidavit of service to see what it says.

However, it is not too late to negotiate and perhaps settle it for a much lower amount. And, filing bankruptcy might be an option to eliminate the judgment.

However, a judgment expires after 10 years unless it was renewed. So, if it wasn't renewed, that may be your way out.

Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, if you can prove that you were not properly served with the lawsuit, the court may dismiss the case against you. This means that you would not be responsible for paying the debt or any interest or fees associated with the debt.

If you believe that you were not properly served with the lawsuit, you should consult with an attorney who can help you review the specific circumstances of your case and advise you on your legal options. An attorney may be able to help you file a motion to dismiss the case based on improper service.

The Superior Court does maintain records of service, and you may be able to review these records to determine whether you were properly served with the lawsuit. You can contact the clerk of the court where the case was filed to request a copy of the proof of service.

In California, a process server is generally required to make three attempts to serve the defendant with the lawsuit, either in person or by leaving the documents at the defendant's home or place of work. If the process server did not make the required number of attempts or did not follow the proper procedures for service, the court may find that service was improper.

It's important to note that if you do not respond to the lawsuit or file a motion to dismiss, the court may enter a default judgment against you, which means that you would be responsible for paying the debt, including any interest and fees associated with the debt. If you have been sued for a credit card debt, it's important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and interests.

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