Rule 55(c) Motion To Set Aside Default Must Be Ruled Upon In 90 Days; Party In Default Cannot Assert Claim

In McGugin v. McGugin, [Ms. 2071188] (Ala. Civ. App. May 8, 2009), the Court of Civil Appeals dismissed an appeal from being from a void judgment after the trial court held proceedings in a case after it failed to rule on a  Rule 55(c) motion to set aside default judgment.

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Setting Aside of Default Judgment Affirmed

In Moore v. Welch, [Ms. 2070709] (Ala. Civ. App. Feb. 6, 2009), an employee sued his co-employees for willfulness resulting in an on the job injury after he was seriously burned when two fire extinguishers malfunctioned and the flames could not be put out.  The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the trial court’s setting aside of a default judgment which was entered.  The opinion presents a good discussion of the requirements of Rule 55(c) and the Kirtland factors the courts are to consider in deciding Rule 55(c) motions to set aside defaults.

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Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment Tolls Appeal Deadline; Redundant Rule 59(e) Motion “Not Allowed”

The Court of Civil Appeals ordered the circuit court to set aside a default judgment. In doing so, the appellate court reviewed two less common points of post-judgment procedure. First, a motion to set aside a default judgment suspends the time for taking an appeal until the motion is ruled upon. Second, once a post-judgment motion is made, successive motions seeking the same relief are not allowed. Thibodeau v. Thibodeau, No. 2070924 (Ala. Civ. App. Dec. 5, 2008).

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Motion to set aside default judgment may be denied by operation of law where motion is not properly supported

In Carroll v. Williams, [Ms. 1060832], (Ala. Sept. 12, 2008), the Alabama Supreme Court held that "[b]ecause Carroll has failed to satisfy his initial burden under Kirtland, we wil not hold the trial court in error for allowing Carroll’s motion to set aside the default judgment to be denied by operation of law without having applied the Kirtland analysis."  Slip Op. p. 10.

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