If a party fails to respond to a complaint or a motion in their case, they take the risk of the Court entering a default judgment against them. You might be asking yourself, what is a default judgment? In simple terms, it is an order entered by the court after a party has failed to plead or otherwise appear in their case within the court-ordered deadline. The failure of the party to take action results in the court entering an order in favor of the other party. Default judgments in North Dakota are governed under Rule 55 of the North Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure.

After the deadline for an answer or a response to a motion has passed, the party who initiated the case often has the option of filing a motion for default. In a divorce or child custody case in North Dakota, after the summons and complaint are properly served on the other party, that party has 21 days to file an answer. If they fail to do so, the other party can file a motion for default judgment, asking the court to award them the relief demanded in the complaint. In a divorce case, that could mean the petitioning party is awarded the marital home, the joint bank account, and the car while the defaulting party is left with the clothes on their back and the marital debt. In a custody case, it could mean that the petitioning party is awarded primary residential responsibility and sole decision-making responsibility while the other party is left responsible for uncovered medical expenses and child support.

In custody and divorce cases involving minor children, the courts can be hesitant about entering default judgments as children are at stake. Judges may not be comfortable making a ruling without hearing from both parties and reviewing evidence concerning the best interest of the child factors. However, do not take that risk by being late in your response or failing to respond. Even if the court denies the petitioning party’s motion for default judgment, the defaulting party has already made a negative impression on the court that could play a part in the court’s order down the road.

Once a default judgment has been entered, it can be extremely difficult to modify, if not impossible. For divorces, property settlement can be unmodifiable, meaning that if the petitioning party is awarded the marital home, there is nothing the defaulting party can do about it. Courts desire finality in cases. If you sleep on your rights, you lose them. N.D.C.C. § 31-11-05(18).

If you have been served papers or have been notified of a court date, it is vital that you take immediate action. Consult the case with an experienced attorney who can ensure you meet your deadlines. 

Contact Rosenquist Law Office by phone: 701.775.0654 or by email lawinfo@rosenquistlawoffice.com to schedule a free consultation today.*The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. 

If a party fails to respond to a complaint or a motion in their case, they take the risk of the Court entering a default judgment against them. You might be asking yourself, what is a default judgment? In simple terms, it is an order entered by the court after a party has failed to plead or otherwise appear in their case within the court-ordered deadline. The failure of the party to take action results in the court entering an order in favor of the other party. Default judgments in North Dakota are governed under Rule 55 of the North Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure.

After the deadline for an answer or a response to a motion has passed, the party who initiated the case often has the option of filing a motion for default. In a divorce or child custody case in North Dakota, after the summons and complaint are properly served on the other party, that party has 21 days to file an answer. If they fail to do so, the other party can file a motion for default judgment, asking the court to award them the relief demanded in the complaint. In a divorce case, that could mean the petitioning party is awarded the marital home, the joint bank account, and the car while the defaulting party is left with the clothes on their back and the marital debt. In a custody case, it could mean that the petitioning party is awarded primary residential responsibility and sole decision-making responsibility while the other party is left responsible for uncovered medical expenses and child support.

In custody and divorce cases involving minor children, the courts can be hesitant about entering default judgments as children are at stake. Judges may not be comfortable making a ruling without hearing from both parties and reviewing evidence concerning the best interest of the child factors. However, do not take that risk by being late in your response or failing to respond. Even if the court denies the petitioning party’s motion for default judgment, the defaulting party has already made a negative impression on the court that could play a part in the court’s order down the road.

Once a default judgment has been entered, it can be extremely difficult to modify, if not impossible. For divorces, property settlement can be unmodifiable, meaning that if the petitioning party is awarded the marital home, there is nothing the defaulting party can do about it. Courts desire finality in cases. If you sleep on your rights, you lose them. N.D.C.C. § 31-11-05(18).

If you have been served papers or have been notified of a court date, it is vital that you take immediate action. Consult the case with an experienced attorney who can ensure you meet your deadlines. 

Contact Rosenquist Law Office by phone: 701.775.0654 or by email lawinfo@rosenquistlawoffice.com to schedule a free consultation today.

*The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. 

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