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C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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What if I did not file a response to a court case that I am

Customer Question

What if I did not file a response to a court case that I am being sued for in Superior Court? It is for a repossesed car.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.

If a court date was set, and you did not show up for it, t

C.Fortunato and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I can't read the entire answer, it was cut off. Also, the court date is not until June 2nd 2009

Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.

Sorry! And thank you for accepting my answer.

If you do not show up on the court date, the result will be that the plaintiff will be able to get a "default judgment" against you. Additionally, if you do not show up, you will not be able to assert any defense(s) to the complaint that you may have.

In a repossession case, the most effective defense would probably be that the car was resold (if it was), and you should therefore not be responsible for the entire amount that is claimed.

Another (less effective) defense would be that you were not properly served with the papers for the proceeding (summons and complaint).

Additionally, if you show up, you may be able to negotiate with the plaintiff or his attorney. The result of this negotiation could be a reduction in the amount you have to pay back, and the ability to pay it off over time.

But if you are not there, the plaintiff can pretty much get a judgment for the entire amount they are asking for.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My question was regarding the response form that I was to fill out within 30 days of receiving the summons, if I did not fill out the response and file it with the court the document states that I could lose the case do to default. That is what I am worried about, that I will go to court and they will automatically place the judgement on me because I did not file a response prior to the court date.
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.

Sorry again!

If you have a good reason for not returning the response within 30 days, the court will often forgive this. However, if it is late, you should attempt to submit it with a good explanation as soon as possible, because the plaintiff can request a default judgment before the court date if you do not. The plaintiff is supposed to do this within 45 days from the filing of the complaint, unless a response has been filed.