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legallysound
legallysound, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1333
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Corporate, Business, Contracts, Real Estate, Pre-nuptial agreements, Landlord-tenant
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What does a court order of default mean?

A court order of "default" usually means that there was a lawsuit of some type and that one party either failed to appear at all, or appeared but had no viable case. If you want to give particulars, I'd be happy to elaborate. But essentially a default means that one party prevailed (or won) in a lawsuit because the other side did not show up. The judgment resulting is just as valid as if both sides did show up.

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Question

What does a court order of default mean?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legallysound replied 8 years ago.

A court order of "default" usually means that there was a lawsuit of some type and that one party either failed to appear at all, or appeared but had no viable case. If you want to give particulars, I'd be happy to elaborate. But essentially a default means that one party prevailed (or won) in a lawsuit because the other side did not show up. The judgment resulting is just as valid as if both sides did show up.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I received a card in the mail that an "order for default was entered on 11/20/2008" NY Judge Panarese in the circuit court of Cook county in a case against me and I have no knowledge that I was to appear in court. It is probably concerning an old past due account.

Expert:  legallysound replied 8 years ago.

OK, that helps.

In that case, you can make a motion to set aside the judgment --- and you should if you were never properly served. eg: if you were not properly served, your argument is, how are you supposed to know to show up to defend yourself? Improper service -- or worse, no service -- is grounds to set aside a judgment.

Depending on the court and the size of the judgment and the circumstances, you may want to retain an attorney to do this for you. On the other hand, if all the plaintiff has is a judgment and you know you owe whatever it is that is claimed, you may want to work to satisfy the payment -- then the plaintiff will file a "satisfaction of judgment" to erase the default.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for answering my questions so promptly. Since I am probably responsible for the old debt I will probably contact the law firm that entered the default judgement. Thanks.
Expert:  legallysound replied 8 years ago.

That sounds like the most workable solution. Also, since not too much time has passed since 11/20, you may be able to prevent your credit from getting dinged, which is always a nice thing.