Failure To Give Proper Notice Of Amount Sought Prevents Default Judgment.

Setting aside a default judgmentWhere the complaint fails to specify the amount sought to be recovered (or in cases involving personal injury, or wrongful death, where the plaintiff fails to serve a statement of damages (Code of Civil Procedure section 425.11)), the court lacks jurisdiction to enter a default judgment. This is true whether the default is the result of a failure to file a responsive pleading, or whether the default is entered after an answer is struck as sanctions for discovery abuse. Van Sickle v. Gilbert (Cal. App. Third Dist.; June 29, 2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1495, [127 Cal.Rptr.3d 542, 2011 DJDAR 9763].

About Mark Mellor

Mr. Mellor obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University in 1988. While at Cornell he was a member of Cornell University’s National Debate and Forensics Team, repeatedly recognized as an exceptional debater and individual public speaker throughout the country. Mr. Mellor obtained his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law in 1992. He was admitted to both the California and the District of Columbia Bars and has been practicing law for over 18 years in both state and federal courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Mellor started his own Real Estate and Business Litigation Practice in 2001 and has had three published opinions in the California Courts of Appeal since that time. Mr. Mellor is a past chair of the Executive Committee for the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California and was chair in (2007-2008); vice-chair (2006-2007); treasurer (2005-2006); secretary (2004-2005) and Executive Committee member (2002-2004). He also assists with the State Bar’s Real Estate Section Committee in California. He has special interests in real estate and business litigation involving loan modifications, foreclosures, mechanic’s liens, construction defects, business contracts, business entity formation, and technology.
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