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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Arrow Motion to Set aside Default Judgment in AZ

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? AZ

    How successful are motions to set aside default judgments in AZ? Can it be filed years after the default judgment?

    My husband had a default judgment set against him in 2004 cuz he lived in Oklahoma at the time and couldn't get back to AZ to go to court, cuz 1 he didn't have money and 2 and he didn't have a reliable car. The ex girlfriend knew all of that and filed just because of those reasons. Now he has this default judgment for $8K. will a motion to set aside default judgment work?

  2. #2
    The probabilty of a motion to vacate succeeding based on the facts asserted is roughly equivalent to winning the lottery without buying a ticket. Why does he not just pay off the 8K?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by nrknlknek View Post
    The probabilty of a motion to vacate succeeding based on the facts asserted is roughly equivalent to winning the lottery without buying a ticket. Why does he not just pay off the 8K?
    oh yea easy peasy.

    He's not sure where she got the figure. Thats way more than half of the rent. They weren't married and its possible she just threw out a number out there knowing he wasn't going to show up for court anyways.

  4. #4
    I did not intend to be glib. It is just that vacating judgments is extremely difficult and requires proof that the judgment should not have been entered. I don't think that a non-lawyer stands much chance of getting that done. Frankly, it would be a challenge for an experienced litigator. Moreover the cost to retain counsel would in all liklihood exceed the judgment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I don’t see any possible way what that such a motion would “work” in this situation. The reasons being that:

    1. Nothing you have told us would qualify as adequate grounds for relief from a judgment under Rule 60 of Arizona’s Rules of Civil Procedure.

    The only remote niche he might fall under is that the judgment was entered due to is “excusable neglect”. Rule 60(c)(1)

    Unfortunately, however, economic constraints do not qualify as “excusable neglect”.

    2. Far too much time has elapsed since the judgment was entered.

    Because (as to inadvertence and excusable neglect) Rule 60 also provides that the motion must be filed “not more than six months after the judgment or order was entered or proceeding was taken,”

    Plus, even in the absence of these limiting factors your husband’s motion and affidavit would need to convince the court that he has a solid legal defense to the ex girlfriend’s complaint. And by convincing, I mean something beyond his general denial that the money was owed - like receipts, cancelled checks, etc..

    ‘In the absence of a showing of a meritorious defense, a motion to set aside a default judgment must be denied.”

    Please understand that we are talking about some very complicated areas of procedural laws. Students fail law school over this stuff - a lot of them!

    For instance: You mention that your husband was served in Oklahoma.

    Well, there’s a complicated process that the plaintiff must not only follow
    to the letter, but there are limited circumstances whereby the Arizona court can assume personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant and thus be able to enter an effective personal judgment.

    There is no way for anyone here to know whether all of this was properly accomplished or not.

    But the overriding and seemingly defeating factor here is time. If something did occur in this process that would otherwise render the judgment void, it would need to have been raised within a reasonable period of time. And we are talking almost 5 years.


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