Whether you’re the plaintiff or the defendant you’re not required to attend civil court cases. Most cases reach settlement even before the trial begins. However, not showing up may make the process even more time-consuming.
When one of the parties is a no-show, the court will most likely reach a solution in the present party’s favor. This can either be “dismissal” (plaintiff is a no-show) or “default judgement” (defendant is a no-show).
For the court to reach default judgement, the judge verifies if (1) the appropriate court papers were served; (2) Neither side asked for the trial to be postponed; (3) the plaintiff presented solid evidence.
In most states, once the judgement has been passed, the defendant will no longer be able to appeal the judgement. But in some cases, the judge moves to reopen the case canceling the default judgement. Default judgement cancellations occur when the defendant hasn’t been served court papers, which led him/her not knowing about the lawsuit and the court date. It may also occur when the defendant got served but an emergency did not allow him/her to show up at the court date.
Dismissals occur when the plaintiff fails to show up. The court will either pass a default judgement in favor of the defendant or dismiss the case based on the defendant’s provided evidence. It’s harder for the plaintiff to make an appeal against the judge’s decision so, it’s better to show up than intentionally miss a court date.