Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Defendant's Petition To Open Default Judgment Was Too Late

In the case of Locklear v. Pocono Luxury Inc., No. 3142-CV-2020 (C.P. Monroe Co. May 8, 2023 Zulick, J.), the court denied a Defendant’s Petition to Open a Default Judgment because the Defendant’s Petition was untimely.

This case arose out of a lawsuit filed by a Plaintiff against a Defendant home improvement company.

The court noted that, in order to open the default judgment, the Defendant was required to show a prompt filing of its Petition, a reasonable explanation for the default, and a meritorious defense.

In this case, the Defendant waited over a year after the default judgment was entered before filing a Petition to Open the Default Judgment. 

The court noted that various court documents and Orders were previously served on the Defendant prior to the filing of the Petition. No explanation was provided to the court why the Defendant did not seek legal representation or otherwise act during the time even before the Complaint was filed.

Judge Zulick noted that the prompt filing of a Petition to Open a Default Judgment typically refers to a period of less than one (1) month. The court noted that delays exceeding that time frame have been deemed to be untimely in other cases.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (June 20, 2023).

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