There was a great article in the Salt Lake Tribune today about small claims courts and bench warrants.
The article discusses several cases where debtors were locked up in handcuffs upon entering the court house to argue their case. I understand that the Court needs to enforce its orders and ensure people show up to court. However- standards of due process in most small claims courts are atrocious. They are not required to follow standard rules of civil procedure and courts often send court notices out in the mail to the debtor’s home- whether the respective debtor lives there or not. Its difficult to show up to court when you find out about it months later. I have practiced in ten small claims courts around Utah and none of them use proper service as outlined by Rule 4 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.
One of best way to avoid bench warrants, debt lawsuits, collections, and ruthless and relentless creditors is by filing for bankruptcy protection. The automatic stay that comes into place when you file bankruptcy breaks the chains of the debtor’s prisons. It not only stops lawsuits, garnishments, and collections- but it also stops most creditors from even calling you on the phone.