People who try to litigate their divorce actions without the aid of a knowledgeable Maryland divorce lawyer can fall victim to many potential pitfalls. A recent case originating in Baltimore County, while not a divorce action, nevertheless contains some very valuable lessons for people considering litigating a divorce without counsel.
The dispute pitted a landlord against his former tenant. The landlord’s lawsuit alleged that the tenant owed more than $17,000 in unpaid rent and compensation for property damage. The tenant received her copy of the court papers (which included the landlord’s complaint and a court summons) on Dec. 20, 2020.
The tenant didn’t hire a lawyer. On Jan. 6, 2021, she filed a document with the trial court that she called a “Late Defense,” even though the document was, in fact, not late. She’d made a critical error, though: she neglected to include a “Certificate of Service,” which is a mandatory component of all valid court complaints and responses.