By design, our courts practice extreme fairness and try to hear both sides of every case. However, sometimes a defendant refuses to respond to to a lawsuit or charges. When this happens, the plaintiff can try to get the court to issue a default ruling in their favor. This creates a civil default case, meaning a case in which the defendants do not respond. When the other party fails to respond, the court can issue a civil default judgment. This process is the closest thing the civil court system has to one-sided justice.
You will put a lot of work into getting your civil default case judgment and have the court rule in your favor. In fact, this is only possible if you have impeccable legal documents. You do not always need a lawyer, though; sometimes a legal document assistant (LDA) is all you need to help you be successful in a civil lawsuit.
Why is a Civil Default Case Such Hard Work?
You might wonder why it is so hard to get a civil default judgment. However, if you look at this from the defendant’s perspective, things become clear. Imagine that you receive a letter informing you of a court ruling that says you must pay a debt. However, before receiving the letter, you had no idea that either the debt or the lawsuit existed. That does not sound fair, does it?
Courts must make every reasonable effort to find people and notify them of legal actions being taken against them, whether these actions are civil lawsuits or criminal charges. For a court case to be considered fair, both parties must get a chance to have their say. Only when both parties have had every opportunity to respond will a court consider making it a default case and order a civil default judgment.
What is a Civil Default Judgment?
When a plaintiff files a lawsuit, the court notifies the defendant. Defendants are the person, parties, or company against whom the lawsuit was filed. The court gives the defendant a chance to respond and to hire a lawyer to represent them if they so choose. That notification can take place through correspondence sent to the defendant’s address or by posting an announcement in a published document, such as a newspaper. Sometimes, defendants do not respond even after they have been notified. In this situation, the plaintiff may ask the court to find in their favor because the other side didn’t respond. The process to persuade the court to issue a civil default judgment in the plaintiff’s favor can be daunting.
People sometimes think getting a judgment in a civil default case is pretty simple. However, the lack of response from the defendant does not mean an automatic decision in your favor. You still have to present evidence that the defendant should be held responsible for paying you the money you are seeking in the lawsuit. For example, in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to persuade the court that the defendant’s actions caused your injury. You must also show documentation that your injury-related expenses equal the amount you are trying to claim.
Why Documents are So Important to Get Your Civil Default Judgment
In some types of cases, such as personal injury cases, the court will only issue a civil default judgment after the plaintiff or their attorney speaks to the judge in a hearing. This hearing is like a one-sided trial. The plaintiff tells their side, but the defendant is assumed to have nothing to say in their defense.
For civil default cases dealing with fixed amounts of money that do not involve injuries, the court sometimes issues default judgments based solely on the documents the plaintiff submits. Whether or not you have a hearing, your impeccably prepared documents play a key role in winning a civil default judgment.
A People’s Choice: Cheaper Than a Lawyer
If your documents are strong enough, you might not need to hire a lawyer for your default case. A registered legal document assistant (LDA) can help you prepare the necessary paperwork to ask the court for a civil default judgment. Our fees are much a lower price than you would have to pay for a lawyer. Contact A People’s Choice about document preparation services for your civil matter. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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