After you answer the summons, you will get a date to come back to court. The court date will be at least five days after the day you file the answer. If you miss your court date, there could be serious consequences. The court could enter a judgment against you. If you have a legitimate reason why you cannot make it to your court date, you must contact the court in advance and request an adjournment, which allows you to postpone or reschedule your court date. This “postponement” is referred to as “an adjournment” by the court personnel and lawyers.
When you arrive on your court date, there usually will be a calendar posted outside the courtroom. Look for your name and write down your calendar number. Then tell the clerk in the courtroom that you are there. This is called “signing in.” Let the clerk know if you need an interpreter. After that, you will sit down and wait for your case to be called.
When your case is called, make sure you understand what is going on and what is expected of you. If you do not understand something, ask the clerk or the judge. If you are given another day to come back to court, make sure you know the date and time, and that you write it down.
Legal Editors: Steven Bennett and David Kassell, July 2015
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.