“What does it mean to get a subpoena in my debt collection lawsuit?”
A subpoena in your Alabama debt collection (debt buyer) lawsuit means that you have to show up at court for your trial or there are serious consequences. Let’s look at this and what it means for you.
You were sued and you filed an answer to the debt collection lawsuit
Otherwise there would be a default judgment against you. So you did a great job — answering the lawsuit. Especially in Small Claims or District Court, the next thing that happens is your trial date. (Circuit Court can take a while longer with more steps between answering the lawsuit and going to trial).
You have a trial date coming up
The Court has set a trial date. This will tell you the location, courtroom, the date, and the time. A natural question is “Do I have to show up to my own trial?” It depends . . . .
If you don’t have a lawyer, you must appear at trial or you will lose by default judgment
If you are representing yourself, then you must show up or you will lose. This is called a default judgment — very similar to what happens if someone doesn’t answer the lawsuit.
The concept is you did not show up to the trial and so you lose because you are not there to defend yourself. Now if you have a lawyer, often you can appear only by your lawyer but discuss this with your lawyer.
If you do have a lawyer, and you get a subpoena, then you must show up to trial
But even if your lawyer says you don’t have to be there, if you get a subpoena, then you do. A subpoena is the document that orders you personally (not just your lawyer) to show up. Again, discuss this with your lawyer but the general rule is a subpoena means you must show up or there will be bad consequences for ignoring a court subpoena as you would imagine.
How to find out more about your options
If you would like to discuss your options, give us a call at 205-879-2447 or you can contact us by clicking the button below:
We’ll be happy to help you think through all of your options — wherever you are in the lawsuit process. Now, if you have a lawyer, don’t contact us. But if you have just been sued or even if you are about to go to trial, feel free to reach out to us.
Thanks and best wishes!