What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

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bigtex
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What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:50 pm

I was recently served with a lawsuit posted on my door for an auto accident over a year ago. What If I don't respond and ignore it? What would most likely happen, and how long would it take for something to happen?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:55 pm

I am not a lawyer, but you should probably contact one. If you have insurance you should probably talk to them. You may not have been properly served. In my limited experience proper service requires someone personally handing you the notice.
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THY4373
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:58 pm

Sounds like a very bad idea to me. I assume you are insured so you would very likely be best off, one talking to a lawyer and two, talking to your insurance company. There have been a number of threads here and the delayed lawsuits seem a common tactics with accidents. Ignoring this issue is not going to make it go away.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by DXG1987 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:58 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:50 pm
I was recently served with a lawsuit posted on my door for an auto accident over a year ago. What If I don't respond and ignore it? What would most likely happen, and how long would it take for something to happen?
This is why we have auto insurance. Contact your insurance company immediately and give them a copy of the summons. Why haven't you contacted your insurance company already?

Ignoring service of a lawsuit is not a good idea. The most likely result would be a default judgment. Once there is a judgment, whoever holds the judgment can go asset hunting. Everything is going to be state specific.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm

Posting on the door is not a proper way to serve. It has to be given personally to an individual, which is identified on the proof of service document.
The court will not consider it.
If you do recognize it by responding, you will be considered properly served, though.
Should you however receive a legal notice of lawsuit, you have to file a motion to quash.

If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
Last edited by Thesaints on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bigtex
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:06 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm
Posting on the door is not a proper way to serve. It has to be given personally to an individual, which is identified on the proof of service document.
The court will not consider it.
If you do recognize it by responding, you will be considered properly served, though.

If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
It was posted on the door, and the individuals left the state. So now what?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:07 pm

Where are they suing you ? Which "individuals" have left, the plaintiffs ?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:08 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:07 pm
Where are they suing you ?
North Carolina

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:08 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:07 pm
Where are they suing you ? Which "individuals" have left, the plaintiffs ?
No the defendents. The person getting sued.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:08 pm

What do you care, then ?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:09 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:08 pm
And you are in which State ?
North Carolina.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:10 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:08 pm
What do you care, then ?
They are my kin. I am just concerned about what might happen. I tried to get them to not ignore it. I said it wouldnt go away.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm

Sorry, messages got crossed. If you are not the one being sued, what do you care ? Trash the document, unless you signed for it.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by mptfan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm
If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
That's not necessarily true. The process server may provide a return of service or affidavit of service to plaintiff's counsel that says service was made...that's enough to get a default even if the service was not good.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:12 pm

mptfan wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm
If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
That's not necessarily true. The process server may provide a return of service to plaintiff's counsel that says service was made...that's enough to get a default even if the service was not good.
Thats what the online case status information says. That they were served on a certain date and it was "Posted." So I am assuming that is all the plaintiff needs to get a default judgement against my kin?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by MBJ0909 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:14 pm

Not a lawyer but used to work for a company that served lawsuits and subpoenas in NC. Not going to say whether you should ignore it or not and I probably wouldn't just ignore BUT you likely haven't been properly served. You don't need to physically take the paperwork from someone but you do need to be physically present, i.e. you could have opened the door and refused to physically accept the paperwork and the process server could lay it down and you've been served but then the process server also has to fill out an affidavit with exactly what happened. If it was just left on your door anything could have happened to it before you received it including it being stolen, blown away in the wind, random dog/child/neighbor picked it up and ran off with it, etc.
Last edited by MBJ0909 on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:14 pm

mptfan wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm
If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
That's not necessarily true. The process server may provide a return of service or affidavit of service to plaintiff's counsel that says service was made...that's enough to get a default even if the service was not good.
That's perjury on their part. If the OP receives a court summon, he should file a motion to quash (actually, his relatives have to).

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by mptfan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:15 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:14 pm
mptfan wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm
If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
That's not necessarily true. The process server may provide a return of service or affidavit of service to plaintiff's counsel that says service was made...that's enough to get a default even if the service was not good.
That's perjury on their part. If the OP receives a court summon, he should file a motion to quash (actually, his relatives have to).
It may be perjury, or it may be ignorance, either way it's enough to get a default.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:12 pm
Thats what the online case status information says. That they were served on a certain date and it was "Posted." So I am assuming that is all the plaintiff needs to get a default judgement against my kin?
Is it small claims ? There has to be a judgment anyway. Suing is not enough to collect. The defendants have to be summoned to court.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:19 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 pm
bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:12 pm
Thats what the online case status information says. That they were served on a certain date and it was "Posted." So I am assuming that is all the plaintiff needs to get a default judgement against my kin?
Is it small claims ? There has to be a judgment anyway. Suing is not enough to collect. The defendants have to be summoned to court.
No the plaintiff sued for middle six figures. What if my kin, the defendants, continue to ignore and don't show up to court? Does the judge just award the amount sued for or some high amount like that? Or does plaintiff actually have to produce medical bills and other justification for the amount sued for?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by rad597 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:20 pm

I agree with contacting your insurance company and submitting a copy of the summons. Your insurance company is adept at handling these issues, and should supply a lawyer. It sounds like the other party has hired legal counsel and you are in now a different realm. I would not speak about the accident with anyone except your legal counsel (defense since you are being sued), hopefully this suit is not inclusive of personal injury and only property damage.

Edit: Sorry, I missed the personal injury. I would strongly suggest not ignoring the summons. Their insurance company will have to gather the evidence from the accident as well as medical care. The suit may go on for years. I suspect the insurance company and legal counsel for the plaintiff will want to settle for some amount, as neither party generally wants to go to court and be at the mercy of a jury settlement (the unknown factor).
Last edited by rad597 on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:21 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:19 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 pm
bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:12 pm
Thats what the online case status information says. That they were served on a certain date and it was "Posted." So I am assuming that is all the plaintiff needs to get a default judgement against my kin?
Is it small claims ? There has to be a judgment anyway. Suing is not enough to collect. The defendants have to be summoned to court.
No the plaintiff sued for middle six figures. What if my kin, the defendants, continue to ignore and don't show up to court? Does the judge just award the amount sued for or some high amount like that? Or does plaintiff actually have to produce medical bills and other justification for the amount sued for?
Also, how long can you ignore for before a default judgement might be issued? Its been over 30 days.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Clever_Username » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:21 pm

Depending on the state, a default judgement could be issued instead once the court date happens. Plaintiff would still have to convince the judge, but you won't be there to defend.

Don't ignore the summons!

I do suggest motion to quash, if for no other reason than to be annoying to your opponent -- let them properly serve you.
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:22 pm

Plaintiff still has to produce the same documentation they would as if the defendants were present, but since nobody will argue against, the court will only check to some extent and surely it will find in the plaintiff's favor.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:23 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:21 pm
Also, how long can you ignore for before a default judgement might be issued? Its been over 30 days.
A court date has to be set and defendants have to be informed.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Rupert » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:19 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 pm
bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:12 pm
Thats what the online case status information says. That they were served on a certain date and it was "Posted." So I am assuming that is all the plaintiff needs to get a default judgement against my kin?
Is it small claims ? There has to be a judgment anyway. Suing is not enough to collect. The defendants have to be summoned to court.
No the plaintiff sued for middle six figures. What if my kin, the defendants, continue to ignore and don't show up to court? Does the judge just award the amount sued for or some high amount like that? Or does plaintiff actually have to produce medical bills and other justification for the amount sued for?
There has to be some evidence supporting the plaintiff's claimed damages. Exactly how much evidence will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and, to some extent, from judge to judge. Why would your relatives ignore this? Were they not insured at the time of the accident? If insured, they've already paid for legal representation with their insurance premiums.
Last edited by Rupert on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm

I don't know what the answer is, but I am pretty sure "ignoring it" is a bad idea. I think that if ever worked, everyone would do it. Therefore, I think that the legal system is set up to make sure that "ignoring it" doesn't usually work.

I think there is quite a bit of delaying magic in going on the record with some kind of response, any kind. The process server already seems to know where you live, so there's probably no harm in disclosing that. But it would be best to get a lawyer's advice on exactly how best to respond. At this point I think you had better be ready to pay a lawyer.

Does the paper you received mention any specific dates (for court appearances, for example?) If so, you'd better do something before that date.
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm

rad597 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:20 pm
I agree with contacting your insurance company and submitting a copy of the summons. Your insurance company is adept at handling these issues, and should supply a lawyer. It sounds like the other party has hired legal counsel and you are in now a different realm. I would not speak about the accident with anyone except your legal counsel (defense since you are being sued), hopefully this suit is not inclusive of personal injury and only property damage.
The OP is not the defendant. His insurance company has nothing to do with the lawsuit; he has nothing to do with it.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by 10.06am » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 pm

Posting on a residence can be proper service depending on the jurisdiction, judge, etc.

Proper service or not, if your relative doesn't respond they could be subject to a default judgement. At best they could then appeal the judgement. In my mind it is much better to get out ahead of the judgement and handle the lawsuit rather than spend the time and money to appeal it later on.

It's not going away.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:26 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm
The process server already seems to know where you live,
He has to know where they (the defendants) live !

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:26 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:23 pm
bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:21 pm
Also, how long can you ignore for before a default judgement might be issued? Its been over 30 days.
A court date has to be set and defendants have to be informed.
So is that likely the next result if they ignore the summons. They get notice of an upcoming court date? Would the court date be a few more months down the road?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:28 pm

10.06am wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 pm
Posting on a residence can be proper service depending on the jurisdiction, judge, etc.

Proper service or not, if your relative doesn't respond they could be subject to a default judgement. At best they could then appeal the judgement. In my mind it is much better to get out ahead of the judgement and handle the lawsuit rather than spend the time and money to appeal it later on.

It's not going away.
What is fair game once a default judgement is issued? They don't have near the assets that the suit is for. Don't own a home etc. They do own valuable vehicles and recreational equipment.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Rupert » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:29 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:28 pm
10.06am wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 pm
Posting on a residence can be proper service depending on the jurisdiction, judge, etc.

Proper service or not, if your relative doesn't respond they could be subject to a default judgement. At best they could then appeal the judgement. In my mind it is much better to get out ahead of the judgement and handle the lawsuit rather than spend the time and money to appeal it later on.

It's not going away.
What is fair game once a default judgement is issued? They don't have near the assets that the suit is for. Don't own a home etc. They do own valuable vehicles and recreational equipment.
The plaintiff can attempt to garnish their wages. If they own any real property, a lien can be placed on that property. Some states allow you to obtain liens on personal property, e.g., vehicles.
Last edited by Rupert on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:31 pm

Rupert wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:29 pm
bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:28 pm
10.06am wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 pm
Posting on a residence can be proper service depending on the jurisdiction, judge, etc.

Proper service or not, if your relative doesn't respond they could be subject to a default judgement. At best they could then appeal the judgement. In my mind it is much better to get out ahead of the judgement and handle the lawsuit rather than spend the time and money to appeal it later on.

It's not going away.
What is fair game once a default judgement is issued? They don't have near the assets that the suit is for. Don't own a home etc. They do own valuable vehicles and recreational equipment.
The plaintiff can attempt to garnish their wages. If they own any real property, a lien can be placed on that property.
Can plaintiff garnish defendents spouses wages? Or just defendent?

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Rupert » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:33 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:31 pm
Rupert wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:29 pm
bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:28 pm
10.06am wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 pm
Posting on a residence can be proper service depending on the jurisdiction, judge, etc.

Proper service or not, if your relative doesn't respond they could be subject to a default judgement. At best they could then appeal the judgement. In my mind it is much better to get out ahead of the judgement and handle the lawsuit rather than spend the time and money to appeal it later on.

It's not going away.
What is fair game once a default judgement is issued? They don't have near the assets that the suit is for. Don't own a home etc. They do own valuable vehicles and recreational equipment.
The plaintiff can attempt to garnish their wages. If they own any real property, a lien can be placed on that property.
Can plaintiff garnish defendents spouses wages? Or just defendent?
That also varies by jurisdiction. These are questions best directed to a lawyer.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:34 pm

Depends on the State where they reside. Collecting out of state is a real pain, however given the sum, maybe they will give it a try, or sell to a collection company.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:39 pm

The people being sued really, really need to talk to a lawyer. If they had insurance that will cover the claim, they need to get the insurance company involved. If they didn’t, they still need to talk to a lawyer. If it’s a legitimate six figure lawsuit, it’s not going away.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:43 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:39 pm
The people being sued really, really need to talk to a lawyer. If they had insurance that will cover the claim, they need to get the insurance company involved. If they didn’t, they still need to talk to a lawyer. If it’s a legitimate six figure lawsuit, it’s not going away.
No they had the state minimum liability coverage. So not even close to covering the claim.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Rupert » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:51 pm

bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:43 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:39 pm
The people being sued really, really need to talk to a lawyer. If they had insurance that will cover the claim, they need to get the insurance company involved. If they didn’t, they still need to talk to a lawyer. If it’s a legitimate six figure lawsuit, it’s not going away.
No they had the state minimum liability coverage. So not even close to covering the claim.
Well, now they're discovering why the state minimum coverage is inadequate. Did the plaintiff file an insurance claim against their insurance? If so, was the claim settled, or did the plaintiff reject the settlement offer? In either event, they need to talk to their insurance company, which will advise them on what to do.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by bigtex » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:54 pm

Rupert wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:51 pm
bigtex wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:43 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:39 pm
The people being sued really, really need to talk to a lawyer. If they had insurance that will cover the claim, they need to get the insurance company involved. If they didn’t, they still need to talk to a lawyer. If it’s a legitimate six figure lawsuit, it’s not going away.
No they had the state minimum liability coverage. So not even close to covering the claim.
Well, now they're discovering why the state minimum coverage is inadequate. Did the plaintiff file an insurance claim against their insurance? If so, was the claim settled, or did the plaintiff reject the settlement offer? In either event, they need to talk to their insurance company, which will advise them on what to do.
Yes claim was settled, but now they opened this new lawsuit.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by 123 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:01 pm

If the defendants got served by having the summons posted on their current legal address (as evidenced by records at the motor vehicles department and they had not filed a legal change of address or applied for a new driver's license in another state) the people doing the suing likely stand a good chance of getting a default judgement. It can take a lot of effort, and money. to overcome a default judgement since you start out from the side of the loser.

Take a look at the rules for "service" for North Carolina https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/inline- ... rkC0IwHR2S

If all else fails the defendant can be served by legal notice in a publication/newspaper.
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:08 pm

First, you'll get better help faster if you provide the details you know up front rather than putting up small bits of the story and then releasing more as specific questions are asked.

If the injured party received an insurance settlement, did they sign papers releasing your relative and their insurance company from further liability? Because usually that would be necessary. Another possibility is that the insurance company paid out the max without getting that statement and bowed out, but that would be less common.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:09 pm

Do your relatives have assets they could lose? If they only carry(ied) state minimums, I would guess not.

It could be their insurance paid out full policy amount. I'm not sure if that happened the insurance company would have any more to do with the claim.

Hopefully some of the forum members who know insurance could chime in.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:11 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:14 pm
mptfan wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm
If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
That's not necessarily true. The process server may provide a return of service or affidavit of service to plaintiff's counsel that says service was made...that's enough to get a default even if the service was not good.
That's perjury on their part. If the OP receives a court summon, he should file a motion to quash (actually, his relatives have to).
.
NC rules of service include 1) service by sheriff, 2) service by certified mail return receipt requested or registered mail, 3) service by UPS/Fedex with delivery confirmation, or 4) after exhaustive search, service by publication.
If your relatives have not changed their legal address with the DMV, for example, then they may well have been properly served. The post on the door may have been a secondary or courtesy attempt at service, with a primary attempt satisfying the rules already having been made.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Beehave
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Beehave » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:22 pm

Hmmmm...

Once upon a time (true story)
I engaged an attorney for an estate issue.
I paid the bill.
The lawyer screwed up and sent me a "pay or die" (I'm going to get a judgment against you) dunning note even though I'd paid in full.
I called his office and reiterated the bill was paid.
They said okay, got it.
Next thing I know, not having appeared, I got a notice there was a judgment (forget whether it was against me or the estate). The lawyer had gone to court, I did not, and he got a judgment in his favor.
I contacted the office again.
They apologized, went back to the court, and they had the judgment withdrawn (this was years ago - - I do not remember specific terminology).

I would NEVER EVER ignore a court appearance or any other court order again.
You don't go and don't answer? You lose.
If you've been wronged, it's now on you to put Humpty-Dumpty back together, probably from a position of weakness.
If there's a court issue and it is potentially serious, I'd strongly suggest getting a lawyer to represent you.

J295
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by J295 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:25 pm

Get competent legal counsel involved, or ignore the service to the potential detriment of yourself and/or the named defendants.

This is not a DIY project.

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8foot7
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:27 pm

Ignoring legal service is one of the worst ideas possible. If these folks truly don't have any assets, then they're probably judgement proof and the best way to demonstrate that is to go to court. Even representing themselves is better than ignoring the service and having a default judgment entered.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:28 pm

Check with the court and make sure it's legitimate, first off. I'm not sure that taping a summons to a door is legal service. (IANAL)

That being said, don't ignore it. If it's legitimate, and you don't file a response, the Court likely will enter a default judgment against you.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

totallystudly
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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by totallystudly » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:38 pm

Posting on the door is not a proper way to serve. It has to be given personally to an individual, which is identified on the proof of service document.
The court will not consider it.
If you do recognize it by responding, you will be considered properly served, though.
Should you however receive a legal notice of lawsuit, you have to file a motion to quash.

If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
Horrible, irresponsible advice here. Service of process varies wildly state by state. Posting the lawsuit most certainly is valid service in some states. Some you need court permission to serve it that way others a certain # of attempts. I've gotten default judgments when people refused to sign for certified mail and collected.

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Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

Post by Chicago60 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:46 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:00 pm
Posting on the door is not a proper way to serve. It has to be given personally to an individual, which is identified on the proof of service document.
The court will not consider it.
If you do recognize it by responding, you will be considered properly served, though.
Should you however receive a legal notice of lawsuit, you have to file a motion to quash.

If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but be aware that further, more serious, attempt to serve you might be made.
All of this is wrong.
The OP should have his relatives contact the insurance company promptly, whether the claim was previously settled or not, and the insurance company will hire a lawyer for the defendants. Doing nothing is simply stupid.

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