Friday, November 12, 2021

Court Rejects Defendants Petition to Open Default Judgment


In the case of Hackett v. Home Solutions Group, LLC, No. 190202344 (C.P. Phila. Co. July 13, 2021 Foglietta, J.), the court denied the Defendant’s Petition to Open and/or Strike a Default Judgment after finding that the Defendant failed to timely respond to the Plaintiff’s Complaint after receiving proper service of the same.

This matter arose out of claims by a Plaintiff-property owner who asserted that a Defendant developer trespassed and encroached upon her property during the Defendants’ construction activities on adjacent properties.

A central issue in this case was whether service of the Plaintiff’s Complaint was proper. After reviewing the record, the court found that service was indeed proper.

Applying the 3-prong test for the opening of a default judgment, the court noted that the Defendant would have to show that (1) the Petition to Open the Judgement was promptly filed, (2) that the Defendant had a meritorious defense, and (3) that there was a reasonable excuse for the Defendant’s failure to answer the Plaintiff’s Complaint in a timely fashion.

The court reiterated that the Plaintiff had made proper service. The court also found that the Defendants could not meet the third prong of the test in that they did not have a reasonable excuse failing to file an Answer for over twenty-one (21) months.

The court found no basis for the opening of the default judgment and the Defendants’ Petition was dismissed.  The trial court issued this Rule 1925 Opinion requesting that the Superior Court affirm its decision.

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


Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Sept. 28, 2021).


Source of Image:  Photo by Tingley Injury on Unsplash.com.




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