The Fastest Way to Find Out if We Are Trying to Serve You Is to Call Us
If you found a Southeast Wisconsin Process card on your door, don’t panic. We are definitely trying to serve somebody, but it might not be you. It is surprising how many times we are given old or incorrect addresses for defendants. To ensure everything is OK, you need to call us.
When you call, please give us the address where you found the card and your first and last name.
With this information, we can check to see if we have papers for you or if we received yet another bad address. In the event we are trying to serve you, the best thing you can do is cooperate.
What Happens If We Don’t Serve You? Generally, Bad Things
Some people seem to think that if they dodge service and never get the papers, then everything will turn out OK. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. In fact, the exact opposite is generally true: things often get much worse.
After our server has attempted to serve you, an affidavit listing the attempts made to get the documents to you is sent to our client and, from there, normally to the court. When a judge sees how hard we tried to give you the documents, permission to serve you by publication is often granted.
This means, in many cases, your name and the case information may be published in the newspaper if you are not served.
If you do not respond to this publication notice, the court often enters default judgment against you. The plaintiff will normally add their service costs and publication costs onto the amount they were originally claiming.
By avoiding service, you may be adding to the amount of money you owe.
A very important detail you might overlook is the fact that the court hearing is your chance to dispute the claim. If there are errors or inaccuracies in the lawsuit, a great time to point them out is at the court hearing. By avoiding service, you not only rob yourself of this opportunity, you also won’t know when your appearance date and time is. Disputing a claim after judgment has been entered can be a lot harder than at the hearing date.
Don’t Want to Pay the Judgment? They Have Ways of Getting Your Money
Some people assume that they can just decide not to pay the judgment. While it is true that they have the option of never writing a check to cover it, there are perfectly legal ways to get satisfaction for the judgment.
If you are employed, the plaintiff, now actually called the creditor, can often legally force your employer to give part of your paychecks to them. You will never even have the option not to pay. The money will be removed before you even see it.
If you have a bank account, the creditor can sometimes tap into it to fulfill the judgment amount.
In extreme circumstances, they can even have a Writ of Execution issued. This authorizes the local Sheriff to take possession of and auction off your assets until the judgment is satisfied.
What Should You Do When a Process Server Is After You? Cooperating Is Usually a Good Idea
From our point of view, it doesn’t really matter if you get served or not. Either way, we get paid. You’re normally only shooting yourself in the foot by avoiding service.
When you find a card, give us a call. We’ll let you know if the papers are for you. If they are, let us know when you’re normally home and we’ll arrange to get the documents to you soon. If you’d rather come to us, let us know. We often have a spare set of papers in our office and you may be able to swing by and pick them up.