Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ?

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Latest post Fri, May 1 2009 4:11 AM by Taxagent. 9 replies.
  • Tue, Apr 28 2009 2:35 PM

    • PA50plus
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    Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ?

    We were served notice of a default judgement on Apr 21st. It says we must respond in 10 days. Is that business days or including weekends ?

    Also, we're still pro-se at this point....but will be getting an attorney soon.
    Is there any reason I can't simply mark-up the complaint with a response and return it to the courthouse via fax or overnight mail ?

     

    Stay away from those who make the bad guys look good, and the good guys look bad.

  • Tue, Apr 28 2009 8:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    PA50plus:
    We were served notice of a default judgement on Apr 21st. It says we must respond in 10 days. Is that business days or including weekends ?

    Calendar days is the standard. I would go with that.

    PA50plus:
    Is there any reason I can't simply mark-up the complaint with a response and return it to the courthouse via fax or overnight mail ?

    One reason for not doing it that way is it's not proper procedure and you risk ending up with the default judgment.

    Do it right. And remember, whatever you send to the court you have to serve on the other party (probably OK to just mail it).

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Tue, Apr 28 2009 8:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    It's 10 calendar days. Under the PA rules of civil procedure, you don't count the first day but you do count the last day in determining the 10 days. In addition, if the last day under that computation falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a state or federal holiday, that day is not counted and the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday is then the last day for filing.

    Whenever you see something is due in X days, always assume it's calendar days unless the document says otherwise or you verify the rule. That way, you are always safe. If you assume business days and turn out to be wrong, that's a real problem. If you assume calendar days but it turns out that it was business days, then you're no worse off except for the pressure of getting it done a few days earlier than required.

  • Tue, Apr 28 2009 9:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    PA50plus:
    Is there any reason I can't simply mark-up the complaint with a response and return it to the courthouse via fax or overnight mail ?

    Yes. The PA rules of civil procedure specificallly provide a format that must be used for filings with the court. You have to prepare a separate document in that format and file it with the court. Simply marking up the complaint won't meet that requirement. You evidently can mail the response but you cannot fax it. You need to file with the court the original, and a fax won't meet that requirement. You will also need to copy the opposing side in the manner required by the rules.

  • Tue, Apr 28 2009 11:32 PM In reply to

    • PA50plus
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    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    Wow, thanks so much TaxAgent. We' ve got a Westlaw account, so I'll look-up the format. By your definition, we still have several days to respond. They go by the postmark date then, correct ? So if the deadline is this Friday (which it is), and we're postmarked Friday, we are "good to go" ?

    Do we need certified mail or will USPS priority with delivery verification be good enough ? Mail to the prothonotary of the court then ?

    Interestingly, underlying this frivolous lawsuit, is a TAX issue. They are suing us because we've uncovered tax fraud and even criminal tax evasion. Interesting, eh ?

     

    Stay away from those who make the bad guys look good, and the good guys look bad.

  • Wed, Apr 29 2009 5:27 PM In reply to

    • HatTrick
      Lawyer
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    • Joined on Tue, Apr 3 2007
    • CA
    • Posts 856

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    The time to respond was after you were served the Complaint.  By not filing an Answer to a Complaint on time (30 days), a plaintiff may seek a default judgment.

    A default Judgment is an adjudication, an Order of the Court finding you responsible for the allegations in the Complaint according to the proof plainitff gave at the default trial.  You did not get to go to the trial because you did no file an Answer to the Complaint, and went into default.  A defaulted party is "out of court" and no longer in the case.

    After a default Judgment is entered, a defenant may Appeal or motion for relief.  This is much harder than filing an Answer.  you will need an attorney ASAP.

    Good luck,

    from a California lawyer who does not practise PA law.

    HatTrick

  • Wed, Apr 29 2009 8:35 PM In reply to

    • PA50plus
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Tue, Mar 24 2009
    • PA
    • Posts 57

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    My Westlaw account just got canceled.

    Can you provide me with a sample format ?

     

    Stay away from those who make the bad guys look good, and the good guys look bad.

  • Thu, Apr 30 2009 1:41 PM In reply to

    • HatTrick
      Lawyer
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Apr 3 2007
    • CA
    • Posts 856

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    Document templets showing the format rules should be available at the local law liabrary.

    HatTrick

  • Fri, May 1 2009 4:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    PA50plus:
    By your definition, we still have several days to respond. They go by the postmark date then, correct ? So if the deadline is this Friday (which it is), and we're postmarked Friday, we are "good to go" ?

    No, no, no! While the PA civil procedure rules permit filing by mail (and thus do not insist you hand it in person to the clerk), it still must be RECEIVED by the court by the last day in the rule, not postmarked that day. The rule says nothing about accepting postmarks. So, if you mail it, mail it by express mail or whatever to ensure that it is received there on time. That also gives you confirmation of when the court got it. But if for whatever reason it doesn't make it there on time, you are out of luck. This is why many lawyers hand file things with the clerk anyway even though mailing is permitted. They typically bring the original and a copy and have the clerk stamp the copy too as proof of when it was filed.

  • Fri, May 1 2009 4:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Default Judgement - 10 business days or 10 regular days ...

    PA's rules of civil procedure can be found here:

    http://www.pacode.com/...

    In those rules it specifies the format to be used. Your court may have local rules that provide further details on what is required; I suggest you see the clerk for that.

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