If my soon-to-be ex-wife (we are now separated) owes on her credit card andI’m being sued, what are my rights?

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011

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If my soon-to-be ex-wife (we are now separated) owes on her credit card andI’m being sued, what are my rights?

We are now separated. I was served 15 months ago but the summons doesn’t have a court date. It states to send them a reply or else they would apply to the court for the money owed. A judgement was entered against me 8 months ago but I only found out today because I moved out of town ($5800). They are pursuing an exempt property motion in my new county of residence. How can I let the court know that I wasn’t given a chance to appear in court?

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The summons won't set a date for a court appearance.  The only date on the summons would be the date it was filed with the court.  The default was entered because you did not file an answer to the complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  The answer to the complaint had to be filed with the court within the time set forth in the summons and served by mail on the opposing party.

Since a default judgment was entered, you should file a motion to set aside the default.  If the court grants your motion, the case will then be back on track and litigation will continue.  You will then need to file an answer to the complaint.  The answer denies the allegations in the complaint.  An attorney can handle this for you.  If you don't have an attorney, look for answer to complaint in the index of Pleading and Practice at the law library.  This will give you the general format for an answer to a complaint.  At the end of the answer is the verification which you sign and date under penalty of perjury.  File the answer with verification and an attached proof of service with the court.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing your documents to the opposing party or opposing party's attorney.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to _______________ (name and address of opposing attorney or opposing party) on _________ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom.  The date you sign the proof of service should be the same as the date of mailing and the same as the date you file your documents with the court.

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