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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  General practice of law with emphasis in family law.
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I have a question about being found in contempt of court.

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I have a question about being found in contempt of court. I should begin by saying that I have moved permanently out of the U.S. My ex-wife does not have my physical address, only my email address. My understanding has been that if I don't pay my alimony, but ex-wife can get a contempt of court judgment against me, nonetheless, even without serving me in person. Is this true?

The reason I am asking is that I am in such bad financial shape right now because I took out over $100,000 in cash advances and I haven't been able to pay back a penny. And one of the credit cards said they would sue me. But another lawyer said that I can't be sued because I am out of the country and can't be served.

This started me thinking, that if my ex-wife can get a contempt order without me being served, can't the credit card company do the same thing? Or is there a fundamental difference between an alimony order and a credit card agreement?
Hello and welcome

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will provide you information in this regard today

You are mixing apples and oranges.

1 - the Contempt order is based on a violation of an Order that has already been issued

2 - the credit card company cannot get a contempt order, unless there is an Order from the court and in these types of disputes, the Credit Card company is going to get a Judgment not an Order and therefore, if there is a judgment - and they can get it in default - but you need to be served, then they can get liens and or garnishment of wages, etc

So to answer your question - No, the credit card company cannot get a Contempt Order in any case.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was hoping they were two different situations. OK, so the credit card company can't get a contempt order, so I never have to be worried about getting stopped at the border like I would if I didn't pay my alimony.


You said that in order for the credit card company to get a default judgment, they need to serve me. Must that be done in person? Can it be done through email? If they send it to an old address, where I no longer live, does that count as being served?


Correct. You do not have to worry about border patrol with a credit debt from the USA. It does not work that way here - there are no debtors prisons, etc

If the last known address does not work for them, then they can file to advertise it in the paper and that is considered service being made - And so it actually does not have to be done in person. But they need to prove and show that they made every effort to locate you to no avail and that you are avoiding service.

So, if you do not get served, the CC company may request the court allow them to put a Legal Notice in the newspaper and then proceed in court with or without you.

If I put you must be served in person, that was an error and I apologize.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

However, I have notified the credit card company that I am not in the U.S. So would a U.S. newspaper notice be sufficient for service? Also, I have been told that a credit card company would not waste money trying to sue someone who has left the U.S. What is your experience with this?


Yes, it is sufficient because that is where the transaction took place. They will file in the court where they are located and/or the transaction - your promise to pay took place. Or in the county of your last known address

Listen, they may not go through all of that. But given it is a large sum of money the only way they can try to recoup is to go through that procedure.

I suggest, it is 90 percent chance they will not file.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, it certainly does feel better not to have to worry about being stopped at the border.


But let's say they win a default judgment against me. They do have my email address. Do they have any obligation to let me know they obtained the judgment? Or can it all just happen and I not even know about it?


Correct. It can just happen and you would not know about it.
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