I did actually file a motion in response to
the defendant's first motion to vacate. I
argued on the grounds that I was not served a
notice for his motion, that he had in fact
received notice and that he had no
meritorious defense of the facts. The court
sent me a note saying the "motion is moot."
Yeah, that's common. Courts prefer to hear cases on the merits so they are very liberal about vacating default judgments.
My mistake was sending an e-mail to the
defendant the day after the first trial
asking him to set up a payment plan for the
A mistake. And a sign of weakness and vulnerability.
When you have a judgment for X dollars, it's 100% payable and you enforce it that way. You don't negotiate voluntary payment plans with the defendant. That just puts you right back where you started from. No money.
So, if you're not tired of this thread yet, I
have a few more questions.
Nope. Not tired of it. Always happy to provide what little help that I can.
1) Is it reasonable for me to ask for the
costs of the expert witnesses for the 2nd
trial as part of my damages?
It's reasonable to ask.
You just won't get it. Each party bears his own costs. That's how the system works. There are exceptions. Like if you had a contract specifying that loser pays winner's litigation costs. Do you have that?
2) It is my understanding that after a
certain period the defendant cannot file a
motion to vacate. How long is this period?
30 days according to MD Rules Title 2 Civil Procedure - Circuit Court, Rule 2-613. Default Judgment, paragraph (d):
You can find all the rules of court at
3) Since I am suing a corporate entity, how
do I go about finding what assets are owned
in the corporate name? I know I can send
interrogatories, but is there a way to find
out about property or autos outside of that?
You're mileage may vary but here's a couple of suggestions:
1 - Have somebody visit the business and look around.
2 - County assessor to see if corporation owns any real estate.
3 - County recorder for any recorded documents in the corporation name. In addition to deeds, look for UCC filings that would indicate that the corporation financed some sort of personal property or equipment. Could be other documents as well, that might lead you to other leads.
4 - DMV to see if vehicles are titled under the corporate name. You can try taking your judgment to the DMV and see if that's good enough to get the information released to you. If not, you'd have to hire an investigative service that has access. Not sure it would do you much good as most corporate owned vehicles are financed or leased and the process of executing against a vehicle is expensive and iffy and not worth doing unless the corporation owns expensive cars outright.
If you win the judgment again, I suggest you take a run at the corporate bank account, wherever it might be. You'll have to wait 10 days after the judgment is entered per Rule 2-632 (b):
The details about garnishment of bank accounts are in Rule 2-645:
Good hunting tomorrow.