Attorneys for Default Judgment in Columbus OhioIn Ohio, a "default" judgment can be obtained in a civil lawsuit if one party fails to file an "Answer" to the Plaintiff's "Complaint", or a "Reply" to a Defendant's Counter-Claim. In order to get a default judgment, the Plaintiff in the lawsuit must first obtain valid service of process.
Valid Service of Process in OhioIn order to obtain valid service of process in Ohio, the Plaintiff must prove that they gave a copy of the Complaint and a summons to the Defendant. There are a number of ways to obtain service of process in Ohio. The most common ways are through Certified Mail, Sheriff Service, or by a Process Server. A Defendant can even be served by regular mail in Ohio under certain circumstances when service is first attempted through Certified Mail.
Time Limit to File an AnswerOnce there has been valid service of process, then a Defendant in a civil lawsuit in Ohio has 28 days from the date that service was obtained to file what is called an "Answer" to the Plaintiff's Complaint. If the Defendant fails to file an "Answer," then the Plaintiff can file a motion requesting the Court to grant a default judgment against the Defendant. In Federal Court, the time limit to file an Answer is 21 days, unless you were served with a Waiver of Service of Process, which gives you a bit more time to file an Answer if you properly waive service.
What is Default Judgment?Default judgment is a Court order that basically grants the party asking for judgment whatever they asked for. If a party asked for a certain amount of money in the Complaint or Counter-Claim, and they obtain a default judgment, then they will be awarded whatever amount of money they asked for.
Otherwise, default judgments are governed by the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 55. It is possible to undo and overturn a default judgment, but you will likely need an attorney in order to be able to successfully set aside a default judgment in Ohio.
Ohio Civil Rule 60 - Relief from JudgmentIf you have had a judgment obtained against you, then you can apply to the Court in Ohio to have the judgment set aside under Civil Rule 60. However, you will have to act quickly from the date of judgment because you only have one year to have the judgment set aside under certain circumstances; but for other circumstances you could have over one year. Under certain situations, you will only be required to file the Motion for Relief from Judgment within a "reasonable time" from the date that the judgment was entered - and this can be longer than one year.
If you need to set aside a judgment in Columbus or greater Central Ohio, then contact an attorney experienced with overturning Default Judgments at Harris & Engler by calling (614) 610-9988.