Legal Question in Appeals and Writs in California

How do I appeal a civil suit case 3 years after the judgement? I was not aware of the suit because i was served at an address i had moved out of long before the incident took place. I just recently found out about what had happened. If you need more info to answer i will gladly provide it.

Asked on 4/05/13, 2:22 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

If you were not properly served, your remedy would be in the trial court to set aside the judgment. It would not be to appeal.

You need to act extremely fast to set this aside, as one of the factors the court will consider is how long you have known about the situation and how quickly you acted to remedy it.

My standard advice: hire an attorney to help you do this. The motion to set aside the judgment will not be automatically granted, and it is not a matter of simply filling out some forms. As a pro per party, you are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of knowing the substantive law in this area, the rules of procedure, and how to present your motion. Assuming the motion is contested by someone who has hired a lawyer, my opinion is that your representing yourself will significantly reduce your chances of success.

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Answered on 4/05/13, 2:37 am

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I agree with Mr. Perry. You need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible about filing a motion to vacate your default and corresponding default judgment.

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Answered on 4/05/13, 7:56 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

You don't, time for Appeal rights are long gone.

There is nothing you can do, unless you can show you were never served with the Notice Of Entry Of Judgment. You'll have to file a motion to set aside the judgment, based upon that claim, and prove it to the judge. If serious about hiring counsel for this, feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 4/05/13, 11:16 am
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Mr. Perry and Mr. Roach are right. There is an error in Mr. Nelson's answer, though. Whether and when you were served with a notice of entry of judgment is just one factor, and not the most important one. They keys are whether you were served with the summons and complaint, as well as when you learned about the judgment -- even if you learned about it by means other than being served with a notice of entry.

As the other lawyers have noted, you need to bring a motion for relief from the default and the default judgment. This motion is time-sensitive, and you will only have one chance to get it right. You should not try to do it yourself. Get a lawyer if at all possible.

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Answered on 4/05/13, 11:42 am

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