Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
They definitely knew about the suit. After defendant was served with court papers his insurance company contacted me, acknowledged awareness of small claims suit, and asked for the appraisal I had obtained.
Update from OP: I received notice in the mail that the previous judgment in my favor was subsequently vacated after I left the courthouse. The plaintive evidently showed up, over a half hour late (because I was there for at least half hour after my original appointed time). He gave a sob story to the judge about working two jobs (I work two jobs as well) and how he was on time to the courthouse but could not find parking (I made sure to be on time including time to find parking). I was not given the chance to present any counter argument as I was not present and aware of this discussion. In any event, my court case was rescheduled, pushed out for another two months. This seems bizarre that a judge would allow someone over 30 min late (to a trial date given 45 days in advance) to successfully give a lame excuse, leading to a reversal of judgement without my presence. Ugh. Back to the drawing board.
Absolutely not unheard of nor uncommon. Default judgments are to be avoided if possible. Defendant deserves a chance to defend himself. You'd want the same courtesy if in his shoes.
Yeah I thought the original court date and time, set up 1+ months in advance, was the courtesy extended to the defendant. He was 30+ min late.
While it was designed that way back in the era of British common law back in the 1600's, the legal system is not supposed to be a "gotcha" type system of default judgments. The fact that defendants never show up to their court date at all is different.