Q: IF DEFENDANT DOES NOT FILE AN ANSWER/APPEARANCE IN A FEDERAL SUIT AFTER 30DAYS, CAN PLAINTIFF FILE FOR RULING/STATUE?
WHAT IS THE FEDERAL RULES AND PROCEDURE ON FILING FOR RULING ON DEFENDANTS FAILING TO RESPOND?
A: Rule 55 Motion for Default for failure to plead or answer the complaint after proper service of process. Be aware that you may succeed in having default judgment entered on issues of liability, but damages will still have to be proven. Furthermore, defaults for failure to timey file a respnsive pleading are liberally set aside and late filings allowed, because default judgments are disfavored. Courts will always side with have a case decided on its merits over a procedural default. However, at some point, a party's dilatory behavior will not be tolerated, especially if their tardiness and lack of responsiveness causes actual prejudice to the other parties involved.
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