Civil Procedure Rule 55(a)(3)(B)—Application for Default Need Put Corporation Attorney On Notice
Maclean v. Newgioco Group, Inc., No. 1 CA-CV 20-0164 (App. Div. I, March 16, 2021) (J. Portley) https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Div1/2021/CV%2020-0164%20MacLean%20OP.pdf
APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT MUST IDENTIFY AND GIVE NOTICE TO ANY ATTORNEY KNOWN TO REPRESENT PARTY IN DEFAULT
Plaintiff sued the defendant for breach of her employment contract and served the defendant's statutory agent. When a timely appearance did not occur plaintiff filed an application for entry of default which she mailed to the statutory agent. Subsequently, with still no response from the defendant, plaintiff filed a motion for entry of a default judgment, also mailed to the statutory agent. A default judgment for $1,050,204, plus costs and interest was entered. The defendant moved to set aside the default judgment 3 weeks later. The trial court having also been presented meritorious defenses, granted the motion to set aside for noncompliance with Ariz R. Civ. Pro. 55(a)(2)(D)—failure to provide notice to a company's attorney. The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed.
Rule 55(a)(2),(b) requires that an application for default must identify “any attorney known to represent the party claimed to be in default in the action in which default is sought or in a related matter.”Rule55(a)(2)(D). Moreover, Rule55(a)(3)(B)also requires a plaintiff to mail a copy of the notice of the default application to an attorney the plaintiff knows represents the defendant in the matter or in a related matter.” Here plaintiff failed to give notice to the attorneys listed in the very employment contract she was suing on. Notice to the statutory agent only when plaintiff knew of specific attorneys representing her employer on the very matter at issue in the case violates Rule 55.