Defending Default Judgments is Good

Defending Default Judgments

Many of the judgments we are retained to enforce were entered by default, which usually means that the defendant failed to appear in court and never opposed the case. When we begin our enforcement work, some of these defendants, now judgment debtors, retain lawyers and ask the court to vacate the judgment, typically claiming they were unaware of the case and that they have a good defense.

It is the job of the lawyers who obtained the default judgment to oppose it, of course. However, we have substantial experience in this area and frequently provide support to our referring counsel, such as providing factual background materials and legal research materials.

And it is gratifying when the teamwork pays off, as it did recently in Wright v. Cavan Properties Inc., Supreme Court, Bronx County, Index No. 24993/2017E (Briganti, J.). Link to it here. In a thorough decision, the court denied the defendant’s motion to vacate a large personal injury judgment, in no small part based upon our spade work uncovering facts revealing that the defendant’s excuse for its default was insufficient. We showed that the defendant had long neglected its obligations to maintain a proper mailing address for process served on it via the New York Secretary of State. Critical were records from an earlier lawsuit, which we located, revealing that the defendant was on notice of its out-of-date mailing address for years.

The judgment upheld, we are now working on turning it into a recovery for our client.