Default Judgment - Tucker v. Nixon


Tucker v. Nixon, [Ms. 2150224, July 15, 2016] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2016). In this child custody case, the Court of Civil Appeals affirms the Autauga Circuit Court's entry of a default judgment against the mother because she failed to properly assert the grounds necessary for review of a default judgment as specified in Kirtland v. Fort Morgan Auth. Sewer Serv., Inc., 524 So. 2d 600 (Ala. 1988). Specifically, "in order to trigger the mandatory requirement that the trial court consider the Kirtland factors, the party filing a motion to set aside a default judgment must allege and provide all arguments and evidence regarding all three of the Kirtland factors: 1) whether the defendant has a meritorious defense; 2) whether the plaintiff will be unfairly prejudiced if the default judgment is set aside; and 3) whether the default judgment was a result of the defendant's own culpable conduct." Ms. *5-7, quoting Kirtland, 524 So. 2d at 605 (underlined emphasis in original). Because the mother submitted no evidence in support of her contentions regarding the Kirtland factors, the trial court properly denied the motion to set aside the entry of judgment by default.

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