If you learn that a default judgment has been entered against you or your business as a defendant in a lawsuit, it is important to seek legal advice immediately. How quickly you act can have a tremendous impact on your ability to overcome a default judgment.
How to Avoid a Default Judgment
Although there are procedures to seek to have a default judgment set aside, there is no guarantee that a court will set it aside. The way to prevent a default judgment from being entered against you is to file a timely response to a lawsuit. When you receive a Warrant in Debt or a Summons and Complaint that has been filed in General District Court or Circuit Court in Virginia, whether by personal service or service on the registered agent of your business, you should carefully review the document to determine the amount of time you have to respond or the date you are required to appear before the court. If you are unsure when and how to respond to the lawsuit, you should consult an attorney right away, as the time to respond is short. If you or your business is served with a lawsuit and you don’t file a written response within the required time, or you fail to appear at the court hearing, a default judgment may be entered against you or your business as the defendant.
What to Do If a Default Judgment is Entered Against You or Your Business
If a default judgment has been entered, there will be a limited amount of time in which a judgment may be set aside, so you need to act quickly. In Virginia, the court that entered the judgment loses jurisdiction of the case after 21 days, and, absent a proper and timely filed appeal, the judgment becomes final and conclusive. There are a few circumstances under which a court may set aside a default judgment, provided a timely motion is filed:
Caulkins & Bruce, PC has represented both individuals and corporations in actions to have default judgments set aside. If you think a default judgment has been wrongly entered against you or your business, please contact Caulkins & Bruce, PC to schedule a case evaluation and consultation.
The information presented here should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
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