How can I get a judge to overturn and vacate ajudgement against me?

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How can I get a judge to overturn and vacate ajudgement against me?

I previously sued my landlord for reduced rental value retroactive to the beginning of my lease, and he served me with an eviction notice. I attended mediation and gave the mediator my forwarding address. The mediator said it would take about 8 weeks for our hearing to go before a judge. Today it’s been 8 weeks, so I called the courts. I planned on just dropping the case at this point. The courts told me they had been sending letters to the previous address. Court was 3 weeks ago, and for failure to appear there was a judgement in their favor. How do I vacate the judgement and drop the case?

Asked on November 3, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can file a motion to set aside the default.  The default (judgement for the other party) was entered because you didn't appear.  File the motion with a declaration under penalty of perjury stating that you did not receive notice of the hearing due to the notice being sent to the incorrect address even though you had notified the mediator of your current address.  Look in Pleading and Practice at the law library to find the general format for a motion to set aside a default.  File the motion and your declaration with an attached proof of service with the court.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing the documents to the opposing party.  You can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  The proof of service just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless otherwise specified to_______ (name and address of opposing party) on ________ (date).  The date of mailing and the date you sign the proof of service should be the same as the date you file your documents with the court.  It will be up to the discretion of the judge whether or not to grant the motion to set aside the default.  Assuming it is granted, you could then file a Request for Dismissal with the court to drop the case.  The Request for Dismissal is a court form.  If you check with prejudice, that means the case cannot be reinstated.  If you check without prejudice, that means the case could be reinstated sometime in the future.  You will need to file a proof of service with the Request for Dismissal.  Some court clerks don't immediately file the Request for Dismissal.  If that is the policy in your state, you will need to leave a self addressed stamped envelope when you leave the Request for Dismissal with the court clerk so that a conformed copy (court stamped copy) can be returned to you.


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