What is the difference between a motion to set aside default judgment and a motion to vacate default judgment?

Asked over 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

And are either motions effected by local court rules? Thank you in advanced

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You actually need to do both. A default prevents the defendant from answering, but just setting aside the default would just mean that the plaintiff could request entry of default judgment again. Therefore, a defendant must both set aside the default and vacate the default judgment.

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    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  2. Quin Elen Marshall

    Contributor Level 6

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    Answered . There is no substantive difference between "setting aside" and "vacating" any judgment, including one obtained by default. However, there is a difference between a default, and a default judgment, and both would need to be set aside, or vacated, in order to undo the final default. Generally, a "default" is entered by the court clerk, at the request of the complainant, when a defendant does not respond to the complaint. Then, once the clerk enters the default, the complainant has to seek a judgment by default, and depending on the court and the circumstances, can be done by the clerk or by a judge. The default judgment, after a showing of evidence, is entered in the record, and details any monetary award, etc. If the defendant then wants to appear and defend after default and a default judgment are both entered, he/she will have to get both set aside/vacated, in order to enter an appearance and defend on the merits.

  3. A Melissa Johnson

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . You should be sure of what you intend to accomplish. Has your default been entered, or has a default judgment been given in favor of the other Plaintiff. Those are different. Entering default is the first step in obtaining a default judgment. The motion that you will bring depends what relief the court has granted to the plaintiff.

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