Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hiding from a Subpoena?

Most judgment creditors will tell you that hiding from subpoenas and dodging being served is childish. From their point of view it would be. It is annoying to them. It costs them time and they have to wait in order to make the next move on you.

Some folks dodge being served a subpoena as a stall tactic. Especially if they know the timing of civil procedure.  There is also a fifty-fifty chance the judge will dismiss the case because the suing party failed to serve the subpoena properly or in a timely fashion. The reasoning is that the court will not have personal jurisdiction over you. So the case will be dismissed without prejudice which means the plaintiff will try again and they most likely will. The plaintiff can also request alternative forms of service when personal delivery fails.

They may even try to lie to the court saying that you have been served in order to get a summary judgment. Whether they phoney up papers from process servers or a certified letter, if they get a summary judgment, you might know about it.

Arm yourself with the internet and locate the county court that you reside in. Not all courts are sophisticated to have an online database of court cases, but most do. If they do not or if you are not sure give the county court clerk a call to see if your name is popping up on any dockets. If you think someone is trying to serve you, using the internet can help you see what is going on.

If you see that a summary judgment was granted against you, your next step is to make a motion to vacate the judgment. Hopefully you have enough time to file. You can only play this game if you know what you are doing.

There are also certain types of subpoenas, some of which should not be ignored. An example would be a Subpoena in Aid of Execution. Failing to appear could be considered contempt of court and a warrant could be made for your arrest. It is best to consult with an attorney if you are unsure about this legal paperwork. Hiding under a rock can hurt you.