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Is There a Default Judgment Against You (civil cases)

There is a most likely a default judgment against you if:

  • you received a Summons (in person, from someone else, in the mail, etc) and you ignored it. There may be a default judgment against you if it’s been more than 20 days since you were given a Summons and Complaint in person, or more than 30 days since you received the papers in some other way, and you never went to Court to file an Answer; or
  • you answered the Summons and you were given a Court date and you missed the Court date.

If you never answered or you missed your Court date, contact the Court to find out if the plaintiff already got a judgment against you. If there is no judgment yet, you may still be able to answer the Summons and Complaint or put the case back on the Court’s calendar if you act fast. Speak to the Court Clerk or visit a Court Help Center.

Even if you have never seen any Court papers, a plaintiff could have gone to court and gotten a judgment against you. There is a default judgment against you if:

  • your bank account has been frozen;
  • your salary is being garnished;
  • your credit report says so.

You need to know which Court made the judgment against you. Contact your bank, employer or credit reporting company to find out which Court made the judgment. Then contact the Court and get a copy of the court file, including the Affidavit of Service of the Summons and Complaint. Continue reading about how to vacate a default judgment.

You can use the Court Locator to find a Court.

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