Don’t Wait to See Your Attorney if you Have Been Sued!

If you have been sued, don’t wait to contact your lawyer!  There are specific times limits that you are given and you must answer the lawsuit within that time. If you don’t, you may lose your case. With no answer on file, and no one speaking up for you, the judge will see and hear only one version of the events.  (NOTE: in Texas Justice of the Peace/Small Claims Courts the time period that you have to answer is shorter than for other state courts).

“Getting served” can happen in person when someone (usually a constable or private process server) personally hands you the official papers in the case.  (“You have been SERVED!”) In some cases, you could also be served by certified mail, by papers being “posted” on the door where you are likely to be found, by someone at your home or office taking papers for you, by your attorney accepting service for you, or even by publication in a newspaper or business journal.   Some of the above methods (other than a qualified person actually handing you the paperwork) may or may not be “proper service”.   In that case, if you argue to the judge that you were not properly served, he or she will make as decision as to whether or not you received proper notice and what should happen with the case after that.

So, if you get served with a lawsuit, make sure you contact an attorney right away. This is important in ALL cases, but especially in family law and business law cases, which can be life-changing. Bring your paperwork to the lawyer’s office with you when you have your initial appointment. When you call to make the appointment, make sure you tell the law office staff that you have been sued.

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