How to Prepare for a Traverse Hearing

A traverse hearing is a hearing in front of a judge to decide whether the other side gave you the legal papers informing you of a lawsuit against you (a summons and complaint), in the right way.

If the papers were not given (served) to you in the right way, then the Court will not have the power (jurisdiction) to do anything about the complaint against you.

To be ready for a traverse hearing, it is important to ask the court clerk for a copy of the affidavit of service that is filed with the court by the other side (plaintiff). The affidavit of service will say how the legal papers were given (served) to you, or what steps the other side took to try and give you (serve) the papers. You should read what the affidavit says carefully.

This will help you with your defense if the statements made by the other side about how they gave you the papers in their affidavit of service are untrue.

Second, gather evidence to support your defense at the Traverse Hearing. Evidence can be:

  • written statements by witnesses
  • notarized affidavit containing your statement of the facts
  • the affidavit of service from your court records
  • Internet research on the process service agency revealing past fraud relating to serving court papers, and
  • any other supporting evidence or documents that will help prove your claim that service of the papers was improper
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