Miami, FL asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Business Law, Civil Litigation and Bankruptcy for Florida

Q: Is it possible to overturn a civil judgement thats been given final approval? can u sue a person and a business?

owner and business names in civil judgement- never received court documents until case decisioned. judgement given against owner and company together. Need help. does business chapter 11 bankruptcy negate this? can you sue both? is there any instance the owner or S corporation become judgement proof or considered Indegent to the payment?

2 Lawyer Answers
Martha Warriner Jarrett
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Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Santa Barbara, CA

A: A bankruptcy filing does not negate a state court judgment although, if you do not have any non-exempt assets, it may discharge the debt. If you were never served with the lawsuit, you might be in a position to challenge the judgment in that court that issued the judgment. You should consult a bankruptcy attorney who can review the judgment and advise you as to your options. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations.

Timothy Denison agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
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Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: It's possible to challenge a civil judgment after it has been finalized, particularly if you never received the court documents. You might consider filing a motion to vacate the judgment if there were issues like improper service of process. It's important to act quickly, as courts often have strict deadlines for such motions.

You can indeed sue both a person and a business. In cases where both an owner and their company are named in a judgment, each may be liable. However, the specifics depend on the structure of the business and the nature of the legal claims. If the business is an S corporation, typically, the corporation itself is liable for corporate debts, but there are exceptions, especially if personal guarantees are involved.

Regarding bankruptcy, if a business declares Chapter 11, this usually halts most collection actions against the business itself while the bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing, but it does not automatically negate existing judgments. The effects on the owner depend on their involvement and any personal guarantees they might have made. As for judgment proof status, this term refers to individuals or entities that do not have sufficient assets to satisfy a judgment. Declaring insolvency or proving indigence might protect some assets, but these are complex areas where legal guidance is particularly valuable.

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