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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6253
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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We had our case heard and settled in District Court;

Customer Question

We had our case heard and settled in District Court; however, the HOA's association representative and lawyer filed a case for the same case of injunctive relief. We responded to their letter through personal mail and have a copy and submitted a motion for dismissal of their motion to the court. They requested attorney fees and costs. Our motion and their motion were denied. A trial by date of 5/27/2017 was set. However, the lawyer for the HOA requested a motion for default judgment based on a "no answer" to their Summons and Bill of Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief. Again, this case had been settled in District Court. Furthermore, the HOA is out of compliance with the Bylaws. What options do we have to keep this case on the docket for the trial and respond to their request for a default judgment?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

You need to file Motion for Leave to respond to the Complaint for Injunctive Relief. You need to include your response as an attachment on the Motion so that if the Court allows your Motion, your response (answer) would be automatically filed and accepted by the Court.

As for the underlying request for injunctive relief, that should be defeated using the doctrines of Res Judicata (claim preclusion) and Collateral Estoppel (issue preclusion), which bar a party to a previous lawsuit from suing on the same claim or issues already decided by a previous lawsuit between the same parties. These doctrines prevent parties from tying up the Court system for a very long time for the same claims and issues.

Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What basis is the Motion for Leave ? We used the Res Judicata for our request for the case to be dismissed; however, the court denied it.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

That you inadvertently responded to their letter through personal mail and did not think that it was not necessary to file an official response since the case has already been settled. That you thought that it was due to inadvertence that that injunctive relief was filed and you wanted to call the Attorney's attention to it and thought that once you did this that the request for injunctive relief would be voluntarily withdrawn by the opposing party.

I am not sure while the Court did not find the res judicata argument to be persuasive. It is applicable in your case based on the information that you have provided here. You can still make the argument during the hearing/trial in the case.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What statutes can the aforementioned be based?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Are there any relevant cases that can be included?
Expert:  Maverick replied 9 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick.

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Expert:  Maverick replied 9 months ago.

Q. What options do we have to keep this case on the docket for the trial and respond to their request for a default judgment?


Here is the rule that applies. It states in relevant part:

(e) Effect of Failure to File Notice. If a defendant fails to file a timely notice of intention to defend pursuant to this Rule, the court, on the date set for trial, may determine liability and assess damages based on ex parte proof by the plaintiff, unless the defendant appears and the court is satisfied that the defendant may have a defense to the claim. In that event, the court shall proceed with trial or, upon request of the plaintiff, may grant a continuance for a time sufficient to allow the plaintiff to prepare for trial on the merits.