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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12216
Experience:  JD, MBA
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We had a status conference the Plaintiffs and

Customer Question

We had a status conference for which the Plaintiffs and their attorney no-showed and the judge ordered a judgment of default. As expected, they filed a motion for relief from judgment, citing a scheduling error as the reason. No affidavit was attached.
A motion hearing is scheduled for July 2nd. Is it likely that the judge will rescind his order? Should we appear for this hearing? It looks like we should we file a Response to Motion For Relief From Judgment at the very least. Is there any advice or recommendations
you can offer as to how to proceed? Since we have already filed a motion of default against the plaintiffs for failing to respond within the 20-days allotted, do we need to file a motion for a default judgment, too? Thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions. Judges prefer for cases to be decided based on the merits rather than for cases to be dismissed due to something like a failure to appear in court. Accordingly, if this is the first time that the plaintiffs did something like this, then I do think that the judge will vacate his dismissal. After all, if he does not, then all that is likely to happen is that the lawsuit will be refiled. Thus, it is much more efficient to simply allow the current case to proceed. However, if the plaintiffs have already done something like this in the past, then the judge may refuse to vacate his order so that they have no choice but to refile the case. That obviously costs the plaintiffs time and money, so they probably won't do this again. I would personally appear at the hearing, unless you do not intend to oppose the motion. If you intend to oppose, then you will need to attend so that you can be heard. However, as stated above, the judge will likely grant the motion if this hasn't happened in the past, so you may not wish to waste your time attending. If you intend to oppose, then you should certainly file an Opposition to the Motion, in which you make your legal arguments. As for requesting judgment, you stated that the judge has already granted you judgment. Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Honestly, it isn't fair that we have to meet all deadlines and they don't. They didn't answer our counterclaim in the 20-day time frame and we filed a default against them on June 1st. Then they no-showed for the hearing on June 16th and the judge issued the default. So, they defaulted twice. They have put no effort into this and apparently don't take it seriously. There are many things in place to prevent "forgetting" about deadlines, hearings, etc. to prevent malpractice, right? So, that is a pretty lame excuse, in my opinion. We just want to put this all behind us and have a FAIR judgment. The fact that these people cost us a lot of time and money is extremely frustrating. They seem to think that they can make up and change the rules as they go, just as they did when they backed out of our P&S agreement and bought another house less than a week later.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You didn't mention about filing a for a default judgment. Should we do that?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The judge ordered judgment of default against the Plaintiff for failure to respond/show/appear. He told us to make a list of our damages. After that, we got the notice of default against the plaintiff and then the motion for relief from judgment.At this point, should we file the motion for a default judgment? or should we wait to see what happens at the motion hearing?Thanks.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again. As far as it being unfair, the way to view it is this: Were you prejudiced (i.e., harmed) by the failure to meet the deadline? If not, then while it's annoying, it's not that big of a deal from your perspective. But if you were prejudiced, then you should oppose the motion, explain to the judge the ways in which you were harmed (e.g., extra time, attorney's fees, etc.), and ask the judge for sanctions. I've certainly seen plenty of instances where a judge orders one party to pay for some attorney's fees for the other party in these types of circumstances. As for the question about the default judgment, I did address it in my prior answer. I pointed out that you already have a default judgment. In your original question, you wrote: "their attorney no-showed and the judge ordered a judgment of default." Accordingly, I don't quite understand why you'd ask for a default judgment if the judge already gave you a default judgment. Perhaps we're having a miscommunication, however. If so, then please feel free to clarify. Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not an attorney or legal person, so if I don't understand, please forgive me. That is why I am asking you! The judge did make a judgment, but if it is set aside, then we need to know what to do next! Does that mean we need to file for the default judgment or do we just play a waiting game and hope they decide to answer our counterclaim? Yes, we were harmed in many ways! If you want to know the truth, I have had some medical issues related to the stress of all this and it has taken a toll on me. Not to mention taking time off from work to attend the conference hearing, the same hearing that the Plaintiffs and their attorney blew off. How do you ask for sanctions/what are sanctions? Thanks.

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