What should I do if I can’t make a court hearing due to a medical issue?

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What should I do if I can’t make a court hearing due to a medical issue?

I got a citation for driving on suspended license court is tomorrow. However,I just left the ER with gallbladder issues. The doctors scheduled my tests for 8 am tomorrow. I forgot I’ve got to be in court tomorrow between 7-10 am.

Asked on October 26, 2010 under General Practice, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Call the court, right away. Call the clerk, call the judge (if you know who he or she is), call even the prosecutor's office. Explain the situation; usually, courts are very understanding of this and will adjourn (reschedule) the matter until some other date. If you can't get through to anyone or get them to change the date, after the fact, you *may* be able to get the default judgment against you (you lose automatically if you don't show up) set aside, particularly if you can document that you contact the court, etc. to ask for an extension. (A good practice, therefore, is to call first, then follow up in writing in some way you can prove delivery, such as via fax, to annotate and document the conversation.) If  you have to do that, an attoreney would be invaluable, since you'll want someone comfortable with legal procedure.


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