Q: Can I still request a default after defendant responded but too late?
Personal injury case, I serviced the defendant but after almost three months he still responded, I should request a default before his response but I didn’t know that until yesterday, do I still can request a default since he already responded but too late?
A: No. Once they answer it is too late.
Neil Pedersen agrees with this answer
A Request for Entry of Default will only be effective if there has been no response when the Judge is asked to sign it. By filing a responsive pleading before you even filed the Request, the defendant avoided the default.
The good news is that a default will almost always be set aside to allow a defendant who requests it as long as the request occurs within the first 6 months after the service of the Complaint. So you are right where you would have been anyway.
Good luck to you.
A: It's clear by your question that you are over your head. This is a simple issue with a simple resolution. If this is small claims court... ok. But if this this is something other than small claims, you should bring in an attorney. You waited 3-months and didn't know what to do. This process gets more difficult as you proceed. Don't go it alone.
A: No you cannot. You really should consider hiring an attorney to help you. You don't understand even the basic issues and the lawsuit will become difficult if the other side has an attorney. There are a lot of ways they can out maneuver you. If you have a lot at stake and/or if you have an attorney fees provision - hiring an attorney would be your best bet. Otherwise... good luck to you
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