Many consumers are unaware of the ability to set aside a default judgment.
A common example is when the defendant has never been properly served with the complaint and has no notice that a lawsuit has been filed. The defendant fails to respond to the lawsuit due to the lack of notice and ultimately discovers a default judgment has been entered against them.
However, the law does provide the consumer with the ability to challenge the service of the complaint through a motion to set aside a judgment. Under these circumstances, a motion can be made on the grounds that the judgment is void as no valid service of the complaint occurred and the defendant's failure to respond was based on not having actual notice. It is important to take action as soon as you receive actual notice of the lawsuit as there may be time limitations.
Another common example is when the defendant simply failed to respond to the complaint due to their mistake, inadvertence, or surprise. This may occur when the defendant has a reasonable excuse for their failure to file a response within the applicable time limit. It is also important to take quick action in this instance as there are time limitations to respond with a motion to set aside.
Receiving a default judgment is not the end of the road. It is key is to take action or contact local counsel after you receive any notice in regards to the legal action.
If you live in California and a default judgment has been entered against you as a result of one of the above circumstances please contact our firm to discuss how we can help.