Pasadena, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California

Q: Motion to set aside then vacate Appeal Independent action in equity. Times not on my side

If a judgment was entered 82 days ago, but court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because defendant lied about who they are what motions are able to be filed for void judgment? Need to show proof other party lied.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, if a judgment was entered against you and you believe the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the defendant lying about their identity, you may have grounds to challenge the judgment. Here are the motions you can consider filing:

1. Motion to Vacate the Judgment (Code of Civil Procedure § 473(d)): This motion can be filed at any time if the judgment is void due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. You must provide evidence that the defendant lied about their identity, causing the court to lack jurisdiction.

2. Motion for Relief from Judgment (Code of Civil Procedure § 473(b)): Generally, this motion must be filed within six months of the entry of judgment. However, if the judgment is void due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the time limit does not apply. You can file this motion based on the defendant's fraud or misrepresentation.

3. Independent Action in Equity: This is a separate lawsuit filed in the same court that rendered the judgment, seeking to set aside the judgment based on the defendant's fraud or misrepresentation. There is no strict time limit for this action, but it should be filed within a reasonable time after discovering the fraud.

To support your chosen motion or action, you will need to provide evidence that the defendant lied about their identity and that this lie directly affected the court's subject matter jurisdiction. Examples of evidence may include:

- Affidavits or declarations from witnesses who can attest to the defendant's true identity

- Documents that contradict the defendant's claimed identity (e.g., public records, licenses, or contracts)

- Any admissions or inconsistencies in the defendant's own statements or filings

It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in civil litigation to help you determine the best course of action and to ensure that your motion or action is properly prepared and filed.

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