Can a summary judgement hearingbe scheduled if Ihave never been served a summons?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

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Can a summary judgement hearingbe scheduled if Ihave never been served a summons?

I was sued for a debt 2 1/2 years ago. I was sent interrogatories and discovery papers by an attorney which I ignored because I hadn’t been served or seen the complaint. He filed a motion for summary judgement hearing back then. I wrote the court explaining that I hadn’t seen the complaint or even been served and denied even owing the debt. Nothing happened for over 2 years until this last letter. Do I write another letter or just go to court? Isn’t due process required?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have not been served with the summons and complaint in this lawsuit that you are writing about, you need to go down to the court house and pull the file to make sure that there was no proof of service filed with the court stating that you were served with the sumons and complaint. Potentially one could have been filed where you were sub-served through another person and mailed a copy of the summons and complaint or served by way of publication.

Potentially the court may have records online that you can pull to save a trip down to the court house.

If you were sued for a debt several years ago and have not done much about it as far as trying to resolve the dispute about not being served with the summons and complaint, potentially some proceedings in the case may have gone against you. This is why one who knows that he or she is involved in a lawsuit should not delay matters even if they believe that they have not been served with the summons and complaint.

Most likely a motion for summary judgment cannot be heard unless a person has been served with the summons and complaint and filed an answer to it. The concern that I have is that if a summary judgment motion was filed, potentially your letter to the court might be deemed an response to the complaint.

You need to go to the court house and pull the file in the lawsuit that you are in to see what its status is.

Good luck.


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