Failed to Respond to a Lawsuit? Here are 2 ways to Defend Yourself!

If you have been served with papers and did not answer or show up in court, you may be able to vacate the default and have another chance to win your case. I go over the basics of what you need to know about substituted service and winning on the merits in this video.

What can you do if you Fail to Respond to a Lawsuit?

When you fail to respond to a lawsuit, you can defend yourself to the court with a motion to vacate the default. To utilize this process in an attempt to sway the judges to support your argument, there is information that you are required to provide including;

  1. A reasonable excuse for delay in responding to the lawsuit which has been posed against you
  2. Evidence to support the fact that you can win your case based on merit

What is a reasonable excuse for the delay?

A reasonable excuse for the delay must convince the judge that there is legitimate cause for your lack of response to the lawsuit. This reason can be that you did not receive the lawsuit, supported by the fact that traditional means of provision (in-person handoff) were not utilized and the message was not delivered to your email/account by the server. In addition, you can claim that you did not receive the lawsuit if it was delivered to a location where you were not, e.g. you work from home and the papers were brought to your place of business.

What merits prove I can win the case?

In order to have the lawsuit against you canceled, you must provide evidence that proves to the judge that you would be capable of winning the case based on merit. The evidence you include can be invoices that prove that your products were purchased from authorized distributors, and therefore are not counterfeit. If you are being accused of violating a patent, you can demonstrate how your product does not violate the rights of this patent or you can prove that the patent is invalid itself.