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In a California civil lawsuit how do I get a judge to reconsider a default judgment if I'm representing myself Pro Per

Van Nuys, CA |
Filed under: Litigation Discovery

I'm involved in a malpractice lawsuit where the judge initially granted a default in my favor because the defendant didn't show up to the CMC. Another CMC was scheduled for her to show cause as to why she did not show up. Her reasoning was for a scheduling mishap and the judge dismissed the default without taking into account that the defendant never filed an answer to the complaint (filed in April 2012), didnt show up to her deposition and refused to participate in discovery.

Do I have to fill out a pleading a motion or some type of form in order to have the judge reconsider the dismissal of the default based on these factors?

Attorney Answers 3


If an answer has been filed, your options are to get on with the case. If no answer has yet been filed, file your request to enter default. Your desire to set aside the dismissal of the default is the most unlikely of scenarios, since much is discretion is left to every judge in matters such as this.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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The complaint was filed in April 2012. She never responded. The judge was informed of this (verbally) at the CMC she failed to attend. Because I am unfamiliar with the law and was highly intimidated speaking in front of the judge I forgot to remind him of this before he canceled the default and scheduled an ADR. But if I understand correctly I just have to resubmit another request for default using CIV100 is that correct? And if so do I attach a separate sheet to explain why I'm asking for the default or do I have to file a formal motion in addition to the request for default?


If defendant has not responded to the complaint, you can file another request to enter default. If a response has been filed and defendant did not respond to discovery your first step is to file a timely motion to compel. The judge will not reconsider his prior ruling. You have to have a present basis for entry of default or judgment.

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The other attorneys have given you good information. Whether the answer has been filed or not will determine how you proceed. If it has not, go ahead and file another request for default.

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