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MStrisik
MStrisik, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  General practitioner; former litigator.
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I hired an attorney to sue an association. We got a default.

Customer Question

I hired an attorney to sue an association. We got a default. He did not get a default jugdment. I asked him to apply for the judgment and he refused. Could he have asked for a judgment to be entered in my faver (money judgment).
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
DearCustomer

How did you get a default but not a default judgment? Help me understand so I can assist.

M. Strisik, Esq.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well my attorney filed for a request for default and it was granted
because the association never responed to the suit within the time allowed. he did not request a default judgment be entered rather just a default !!.
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for this information.

I have never heard of a situation like this. Was an Order not entered by the court? This Order of default is the judgment.

If you did not get a monetary award, perhaps the suit did not ask for money damages? Do you have a copy of the complaint your attorney filed against the association? What were the allegations?

Thanks,

M. Strisik, Esq.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He did not ask for a dollar amount in the complaint. He originally
told me we could ask whatever we wanted at a later date. When I told him to go for it he refused stated the the defaulting party would move to get the default set aside due to the fact that He misnamed the association in the original suit. He did however, amend the complaint with a name change and also had proof that the correct officer of the correct association was served. He did ask that the liens filed by the association be deemed invalid.
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the follow-up.

If you were damaged by the association and asked your original attorney to plead for damages and your attorney did not do so - then there are two outcomes:

1. Damages were not an element of the claims in your complaint; or
2. Your attorney did not represent you ethically.

Perhaps you can tell me the counts in your civil complaint? For example, negligence.

M. Strisik, Esq.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
unfair business practices
violation of cal fdcpa

violation of fed fdcpa
declatory relief

on the second and third count my attorney asked for an award of actual damages.
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
Understood.

What were your actual damages? Sounds like you had the liens dropped.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to sue a debt collector in state or federal court within one year from the date of the violation. If you win, you may recover damages in the amount of any losses you suffered as a result of the violation, plus an additional amount of up to $1,000.00. You may also be able to recover court costs and attorney fees.

Were you able to recover court costs and attorneys fees?

I encourage you to get a second opinion on this matter by a local attorney who works in this field. You might not have had adquate representation the first time around.

Without knowing the details of your case it is hard for me to know whether the attorney you hired did an adequate job.

I hope this has been helpful.

M. Strisik, Esq.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No the liens were not dropped. He did not get actual damages nor did he ask for them. He filed a motion to withdrawas councel as there was a second defendant that did answer the complaint and were threatening malicious prosecution.

yea I got screwed by the first attorney and the second attorney.

The second atorney did not think he could win so he got me an unfavorable settlement with the second party. he said we were to close to trial and he did not have time to prepare properly.

Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
<p>Well, to answer your first question, you could have only received up to $1,000 above your actual damages and perhaps attorneys fees and costs of court under the laws governing your action.</p><p> </p><p>I still encourage you to have a new attorney review the actions of the first two attorneys to make sure you were adequately represented.</p><p> </p><p>Best regards,<br /><br />M. Strisik, Esq.</p>
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What abount if the liens prevented me from refinancing my second condo ?. They wanted me to pay them money to pay off the liens and I refused so the loan fell through. could I have gotten punative damages for that ?.
Expert:  MStrisik replied 5 years ago.
Punitives are generally awarded for reckless and egregious acts and the damages must be clear. The damages associated with being prevented from refinancing a condominium are speculative rather than actual and the dollar amount you would be asking for would be difficult to calculate.

State laws differ on the award of punitives. This is something to ask a local attorney when/if you have them review your suit.

Best of luck to you,

M. Strisik, Esq.

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MStrisik
MStrisik
Lawyer
288 Satisfied Customers
General practitioner; former litigator.