In some circumstances, it is the Plaintiff's obligation to serve you with the complaint, claim form, or other case-initiating document. In other circumstances, court staff are supposed to mail you this preliminary form. In either event, many Defendants do not actually receive proper notice from the court or their adversary before the hearing, but instead learn of the case through advertising, the court's web site, or other informal methods. Sometimes Defendants do not receive formal notice due to inadvertence or error, in other cases, we have suspected that a claim form was not delivered deliberately.
We have observed that if a Defendant does not appear in conciliation court on the day of the hearing, and the Plaintiff claims the Defendant was served with a claim form, the court will grant a default judgment against the Defendant. In the Defendant's absence, the judge has no way to evaluate whether the Plaintiff's claim that the Defendant was served is true or false.
A default judgment might be overturned in certain circumstances, but requires a good deal of work and a bit of luck to do
so. Choosing not to go to court on the day of your hearing exposes yourself to considerable risk, and you should consult
with an attorney about how to best protect yourself.
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