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I live in New Jersey but the person who filed lives in. None…

Customer Question
I live in New...

I live in New Jersey but the person who filed lives in Virginia

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

None I didn't even know I had a court case until a place called hot bench contacted me asking me to come on their show cuz the person agreed to come I haven't gotten any legal documents or anything and it's in small claims court but when I contacted the clerk's office in Virginia they stayed at that I definitely have a case to be heard

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

That the person who is suing me is my ex-husband's new wife

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Legal
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
My question is do they even have legal jurisdiction to file against me there the court date is June 13th and I haven't even received any legal documents can I be hit with a default judgement she's suing me for $5,000 for travel expenses that her husband used to pick up our son defamation of character and for me filing a false police report
Answered in 7 minutes by:
5/31/2018
Lawyer: Sean K, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 961
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
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Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

From your information it appears you have not been served or delivered with any papers related to the lawsuit? Is this correct?

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Lawyer: Sean K, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

There are several things of note here.

First, if you have not been served with notice of the suit, things such as a sheriff or a process server delivering the physical law suit to you, your signing for the suit via certified mail, or a copy of it being left with a person over 18 at your residence, then you likely have not received notice of the suit and they would not be able to proceed against you.

If they/she just files the suit, doesn't properly serve you and then shows up at the Court, nothing will happen except the case may be dismissed. (Now she could file it again and then serve it.)

Also it is critical to understand that just because a law suit is filed that doesn't mean they/she will receive or get anything for which they are asking, it merely means that if properly served a lawsuit filed in the proper jurisdiction, will entitle the complaining party to their day in Court where, if they can prove their case, they may be entitled to a judgment.

Now, as to the question of jurisdiction, if the "acts" they/she alleges occurred happened in Virginia, then likely Virginia has jurisdiction. However, if they happened in New Jersey, then the venue for any lawsuit would be in New Jersey. However, while you may be entitled to have the case dismissed in Virginia, there is a technical issue that would need to be addressed because if you appeared in a Virginia Court, that alone may vest Virginia with jurisdiction to hear the case.

As to the claims she raises - if there is a custody agreement that would likely cover any travel expenses for visitation and if there is not, that issue would likely only heard in Family Court and if it is about visitation, that likely would not involve her directly, so there is a question as to whether that is even a claim.

As to defamation, that is a recognized claim in civil law but without more information, it would be difficult to say whether it was a valid claim or not.

Finally, as to filing a false police report, that is generally viewed more in the lines of a criminal matter that the police would consider pursuing if there was to be any action. Private citizens don't have the authority to have the Courts address criminal matters. As well, it is rare to see a Court hold someone accountable for reporting something to the police.

That all having been said, the consideration on your end may be best served by determining what is actually going on in the Virginia case. For instance, there may be a Court hearing set, but if, as I set out above, if you have not been served, the matter would likely not be heard. However if she has effectuated service and you do not show up, there could be an adverse ruling against you as you would not be there to defend the suit. Virginia small claims court judgments don't travel well for execution in other states, but it could cause issue with credit and the like and it could be moved to New Jersey though that would be a separate judicial process. For you, the real question is do you ignore it or fight it to put it to rest.

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