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I have been served with a summons to appear in court for a…

Good afternoon, I have...

Good afternoon, I have been served with a summons to appear in court for a default judgment, unfortunately, I lost my job approximately 1 year ago and have not bee able to obtain successful employment since that time. Due to this, I had to start drawing my SS at age 62 in order to maintain my house and car. What do I do when I go to court, I cannot afford an attorney.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

No, if what papers would I file/

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

Georgia

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, just a sad situation.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/15/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,245
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
thank you.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. During the default hearing, the court will review the request for default and ask you questions regarding that. For example, if you never responded to the initial summons, the court will ask why you did not do so. The court will need to ascertain whether the plaintiff did anything that prohibited you from adequately responding (e.g. not serving the documents on you). The court may also ask you whether you have any objections to anything in the motion for default as well. For example, if you aren't the party that was to be sued, you could bring that up. The hearings are typically very short and will often get started right at 8:30am. There will be other hearings that day for other cases so be prepared to wait as well.

If you have some legitimate reason that you didn't respond, then the court will dismiss the default motion and then set up the required court dates. If the court determines that the default should be ordered, they will order it, unfortunately, but you can still work out something with the other party even after the judgment.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I did try and call them twice to explain the situation, left 2 messages and never received a call back, just the order to appear in court.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I did try and call them twice to explain the situation, left 2 messages and never received a callback, just the order to appear in court.

I see what you mean. This is not out of the ordinary. Sometimes, parties will want the judgement of default in their favor so that gives them the right to go after you; however, if you are on social security and if you don't have any other assets, you may be judgment proof. Unless it's for child support, spousal support, taxes, or student loans, they cannot garnish your wages so that is one upside in your situation. You could use this as leverage in negotiating, even if they get a default judgment.

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I do have one car that is paid for, can they take it? It is in both mine and my husbands' name, this request for the default judgment is for me only also I have equity in my home.

They might be able to get a lien on it, but they won't be able to take it. They will have to go back to court and request that the court allow them to have a lien on it, but even then you can exempt usually up to 2-3,000 on your vehicle's equity, assuming there's any equity in the vehicle at all, so the answer is they won't be able to take it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much, you have been very helpful. God Bless you.

The pleasure is all mine! Unless you have additional questions, there’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

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Legal Eagle
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Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Legal Eagle
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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