How do I get a judgment vacated?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2011

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How do I get a judgment vacated?

I have just had a judgment entered against me. I was never served the summons and complaint. The return of service shows “NOT SERVED” but the attorney for the plaintiff filed a document that said it was servered and was awarded a judgment. Now I want to file to have it vacated. I have no money for an attorney but can file the papers needed.  What documents do I need to file?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Utah


J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good afternoon,

I am sorry to hear about your situation. This happens fairly often. All you need to do is make a trip to the clerks office in the courthouse where the judgment was entered. If you have a copy of the judgment bring it so you have the caption and index #. Take that to the clerk and ask them for the paperwork you need to file a motion to vacate a judgment. Because this is a common motion there should be forms readily to be filled out and then you just file them while at the courthouse.

What will happen is the plaintiff will have to show why it should remain and that is wen you present your case, like failure to serve. And a judge either vacates or determines it is proper. I would urge you to get an attorney if it is an option because that will be quite beneficial in a situation like this.

Good luck

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