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Superior Court Civil Rules Table of Contents




Rule 42. Default

(a)  When a party against whom a Complaint or other pleading (see Rule 6) requiring a response has been filed fails to timely Answer or otherwise defend, the party shall be defaulted.  No such default shall be stricken off, except by agreement, or by order of the court upon such terms as justice may require. The court shall strike the default only upon motion and affidavit of defense, specifically setting forth the defense and the facts on which the defense is based.

(b)  Final default may be entered by the court, sua sponte, where appropriate, or by motion of a party, a copy of which shall be sent to all parties defaulted or otherwise.

(c)  In all cases in which final default is entered, whether due to failure to file an Answer or otherwise, the case shall be marked “final default entered, continued for entry of judgment or decree upon compliance with Rule 42.”  A copy of the court’s order and any subsequent orders shall be mailed or electronically delivered to all parties, defaulted or otherwise.

(d)  The non-defaulting party may then request entry of final judgment or decree, by filing a motion, together with an affidavit of damages or, in cases where equitable relief is requested, a proposed decree.  Where the default is based on a failure to file an Answer, the motion shall include a military service statement. The moving party shall certify to the court that a copy of all pleadings has been mailed to the defaulting party and shall include a notice that entry of final judgment or decree is being sought. Any party may request a hearing as to final judgment or decree.  All notices under this rule shall be sufficient if mailed to the last known address of the defaulting party.

(e)  A hearing as to final judgment or decree shall be scheduled upon the request of any party.  Otherwise, the court may enter final judgment or decree based on the pleadings submitted or exercise its discretion to hold a hearing depending on the circumstances of the default, the sufficiency of the pleadings and the nature of the damages sought or relief requested.

(f)  If the court schedules a hearing, all parties, defaulted or otherwise, shall receive notice and an opportunity to be heard.

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