St Louis, MO asked in Personal Injury, Health Care Law and Insurance Bad Faith for Missouri

Q: I was never serviced for a lawsuit in 2013. Now 2023 discovering a default judgment against. What to do? READ DETAILS!

I was in jail/prison and allegedly a “family member” who was at my last known residence was served my summons. I had no clue of any of this information until 2023 upon a case net civil search. The debt is for medical bills/lien (improper lien) I may add as a result of a personal injury’ insurance settlement claim where I was hit on my motorcycle and had multiple surgeries back in 2010-2011.

There is a $35,000+ check that was sent to abandoned property by the responsible parties insurance company in 2017 made payable to myself and the university hospital.

Any advice, suggestions, or opinions welcome. Will hire if necessary.

1 Lawyer Answer
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: I suggest you hire an attorney who is experienced in filing motions for relief from void judgments. Because more than one year has passed since entry of the judgment, you are ineligible to file a motion to set aside a default judgment, which requires "good cause" and articulation of a "meritorious defense." There is not deadliine to file a motion for relief from a void judgment, however. A good attorney would review the return of service to see if it might, on its face, provide a basis for challenging service of process. In addition, if you were not served, via a family member at your residence, then that too is a basis for challening service of process. Bear in mind that even if you are successful in your motion, the case will merely become active again and, if served a new summons, you'll still need to defend the case on the merits. Again, hire an attorney.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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