If Someone Gets A Default Judgment Against You...

by Richard Fonfrias, J.D. Chicago's Financial Rescue & Bankruptcy Lawyer Fonfrias Law Group, LLC

Default Judgment: A default judgment is a court-ordered judgment against you for failing to respond to a lawsuit. When the plaintiff - the company or person who sued you - gets a default judgment against you, the plaintiff or his lawyer can use the judgment to put a lien on your home and property or to garnish your wages.

Why did the court issue a default judgment against you?
When the City of Chicago believes that you have violated an ordinance, it will serve you (by mail or in person) with a Notice of Violation. This notice tells you that you have the right to request a hearing to argue against the violation. If you do not request a hearing, then a hearing officer will enter a Default Judgment against you based on the evidence presented in the Notice of Violation. In most cases of default, the city asks the hearing officer to impose the maximum fine allowed by law.

How do you void (cancel) the default judgment against you?
If you have a good reason for not responding to the Notice of Violation, then you can file a Motion to Set-Aside a Default Judgment with the Department of Administrative Hearings. If your motion is granted, you will receive the time, date and place for your hearing.

At your hearing, your motion to void the default judgment might be granted if you (1) missed the hearing for a good reason; (2) have good reason to believe that the Notice went to the wrong address ; or (3) believe that the city cited the wrong person, business or property.

If your motion to set-aside the default judgment is granted, then your hearing on the violation will be held immediately. So make sure you bring everything you have to defend against the notice of violation, such as documents, photos and receipts.

Make sure you follow all of the instructions to the letter.
Your motion to set-aside the default judgment will not be granted automatically.You must file your motion on time and provide a good reason why you did not respond to the Notice of Violation.Contact the Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings for complete details.