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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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I am being sued and I have no money. I cannot afford an attorney.

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I am being sued and I have no money. I cannot afford an attorney. I am "judgment proof" but still am being dragged into court. I know that in criminal cases they have to provide an attorney if you cannot afford one, but do they not also have to help out in civil cases? The local free legal service is overburdened and cannot help me. Any idea how I could petition for legal representation?

Dear JACUSTOMER - There is no provision for free legal help in civil cases. Some attorneys will provide pro bono services as part of Bar Association programs but these services are generally for clients who they can actually help. If you are being sued for a debt that you owe there's really nothing an attorney can do. You have no duty to appear in court or to respond to the suit. If you are "judgment proof" then all that can happen is the creditor will obtain a judgment but beyond that they can't do anything to you.

Ultimately, in most cases, the debt can be discharged in bankruptcy if that becomes necessary. It is not a crime to owe a debt so there is no Constitutional right to a free lawyer.

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