Temperance, MI asked in Small Claims for Michigan

Q: From when would deadline to plead be (when the motion was accepted or the pretrial hearing (originally the motion date)?

I submitted a motion to set aside default a 2 months ago in small claims court. The motion was given a hearing date, but in interim the plaintiff accepted it and the same hearing date was changed to a pretrial hearing (and motion adjourned to set aside default). I did not receive a letter for this as the court/plaintiff have the wrong address. I attended this pretrial hearing (originally motion to set aside default) and now the discovery process has begun. I still have not had a chance to submit a official pleading and nobody said anything to me during the hearing including judge and plaintiff lawyer. Im worried now.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: If you are having these questions, you need a lawyer. These are procedural questions. From what you describe, you had already been defaulted, which would otherwise effectively end the case for you and subjecting you to whatever the plaintiff was asking for. You seem to have successfully got the default set aside, which puts the case back on the normal path to trial. You now have a period of time for discovery - e.g. exchange of relevant information to prepare for trial. There may also be a pretrial conference or mediation ordered before trial to see if something can be worked out. But at the end of the day, you and the plaintiff will either agree to a settlement or the case will go to trial. You now need to look at the court's pretrial scheduling order to see what your timeline and responsibility is regarding filing pleadings and scheduling motions. You also need to be sure the court and plaintiff's lawyer have your current mailing address. It is not the court's responsibility, nor is it the plaintiff's lawyer's responsibility, to assist you; when you represent yourself, you are held to the same procedures as an attorney.

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