Can I be arrested for failing to appear in court for a civil suit? 19 Answers as of October 15, 2012

I am being sued by a credit union for not paying on a loan. I'm scheduled to appear at 9am which means I will have to miss a whole day of work and lose a point at work. I've already been told they will garnish my wages I just don't want to be arrested for failing to appear in court and I already know the outcome.

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Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
You won't be arrested.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/15/2012
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
You cannot be arrested for failure to appear in a civil lawsuit. However, a judgment can be levied against you, and the opposing attorney can file a motion to have you held in contempt of court, and if you blow off those court dates, a bench warrant could be issued against you.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/13/2012
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
It depends on the type of proceeding. If you were subpoenaed, then yes, you could be arrested for failing to appear. It's contempt of court if you fail to appear for a court-event after being subpoenaed to appear. This is frequently an issue if a person fails to appear for a creditor's examination or trial. Of course, failing to appear for a civil court-appearance could also result in a potential default judgment too, which is another serious risk. In terms of being arrested, though, the inquiry is whether there was a subpoena involved.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/13/2012
Langford Law Firm
Langford Law Firm | Theresa Langford
This is tagged under criminal defense; but it is merely a civil suit on a credit account and you do not show up, they will take a default judgment against you. You won't go to jail or be held in contempt. They will be able to reach your assets/bank account etc when they execute on the judgment. It may be worth your while to try to negotiate this with them on a payment plan.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 10/11/2012
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information to answer better, but generally in a Civil case you do not get arrested but a default judgment may be entered against you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/11/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    You cannot be arrested for failing to appear in court for a civil matter like this. There may be defenses to a garnishment.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You won't be arrested, but if you fail to pay you will then face jail. Trouble is by not going you face having to also pay the cost of the litigation.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
    No warrants issue for failure to appear in a civil suit. You can expect a judgement will likely be entered for the full amount sought by Plaintiff.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    No, but the other party will prevail on a default judgment. You will also lose your right to appeal.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It depends what the hearing is for. If it is a hearing to answer questions about assets + income, failing to appear can lead to an arrest warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
    Yes you can. The Court can issue a body attachment if you were properly served a ORAP by the Plaintiff. Usually the bail is low so most police will not arrest you but cite you again with a new court date. You will be sanctioned for you not showing up and have to pay for the attorney's time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If you were given a subpoena then you have to appear in court. Otherwise the court just will enter a judgment against you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It depends on the reason for the hearing. If it is for a debtor examination, you can be arrested. If it is for a default hearing, you don't have to show up. However, you may want to talk to the attorneys about doing a confession of judgement to cut down on the attorneys fees. You should also consult a bankruptcy attorney. That may be a viable option for you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    You don't have to appear in court. A judgement will be entered against you, and garnishment should begin shortly. When they claim it is more than you think it is, please do not write back complaining that they have somehow cheated you, because you elected not to go to court and be bothered by the details.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    No, the judgment will be found against you - you will lose, but that is it.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    You will not be arrested for failing to appear in a civil case. You will just get a default judgment against you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    If you fail to appear, the creditor would win by default. If the judge chooses, you could be.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    C.R. Green Law Firm, P.L.L.C
    C.R. Green Law Firm, P.L.L.C | Cassandra R. Green
    You will not be arrested for failing to appear for this type of case as a defendant. Your failure to appear will result in the credit union being able to obtain a default judgement against you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Why don't you settle? You could be held in contempt of court.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/11/2012
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