If an individual fails to respond to a Lawsuit, a default will be entered. Nevertheless, you still may be able to vacate the Default. Contact the Law Office of Brian P. Kowal, PA to learn about your options.
- Failing to respond to a lawsuit: After a person has been served, they have 20 days to respond. If they do not respond, a default will be entered.
- Failing to appear at a Pretrial Conference: If a person fails to appear at the pretrial conference, the Court will enter a default.
A Motion for Final Default Judgment can be filed if a default has been entered. If the Court grants the Motion, a Final Judgment will be entered. However, Rule 1.540(b) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure allows a Default to be set aside for several reasons. These include:
- Newly discovered evidence
- Excusable Neglect
- Default is void.
To vacate a Default, an individual must meet all elements of a 3 part test. The 3 elements include:
- Excusable Neglect: An individual does not respond due to a misunderstanding, clerical error, or human error.
- Meritorious Defense: The Individual must attach an Answer and Affirmative Defenses to their Motion to Vacate.
- Due Diligence: The Individual can file a Motion to Vacate after learning that a default has been entered.
Falling`to respond to a lawsuit can result in a default against an Individual. However, they do have the opportunity to file a Motion to Vacate a Default in Florida. If you are unsure about your rights after a default has been entered, contact the Law Office of Brian P. Kowal, PA today at (954) 990-7552.