Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Petition to Open Default Judgment Against a Defendant Denied

In the case of Hardy v. Best Buy, No. 961- Civil - 2019  (C.P. Monroe Co. Aug. 5, 2020 Williamson, J.), the court denied a Motion to Open a Default Judgment because the Defendant did not file its Motion in a timely fashion and also failed to demonstrate a good cause for the late filing of its Answer to the Plaintiff’s Complaint.

According to the Opinion, this case arose out of issues surrounding the Plaintiff’s purchase of a washing machine from the Defendant’s website in October of 2018. When the produce arrived at the Plaintiff’s home, it was discovered that the machine was damaged. The Defendant later informed the Plaintiff that the washer had been back ordered and, therefore, a new delivery date was delayed. 

When a new washer arrived, the Plaintiff discovered that this washer was damaged in the same manner of the previous one. The Plaintiffs contacted the Defendant and demanded the delivery of a washer within one (1) week. The Defendant failed to comply. 

The Plaintiffs then filed suit. 

The defense initially responded with Preliminary Objections and the court in addressing those objections required the Defendant to file an Answer within twenty (20) days. 

The Defendants filed an Answer with a New Matter in October of 2019. The Defendant then filed a Motion on February 12, 2020 seeking to open the default judgment. The defense asserted that it did not receive the default notice in a timely fashion as it was sent to the corporate office of the Defendant instead of to its legal counsel. 

The court rejected the defense position and found that the Defendants failed to meet the timeliness requirement. The court noted that the Defendant had notice of the default judgment for over a month before it field its Motion to Open. The court also noted that the defense failed to show good cause for the untimely filing of the Answer and New Matter. 

As such, the Motion to Open the Default Judgment was denied.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Sept. 22, 2020).

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