Have you recently been sued in North Carolina state court? If so, you need to act quickly and find an attorney in Charlotte, NC in order to preserve your rights!

To initiate a lawsuit, the plaintiff must first file a complaint and summons with the court and serve them on the named defendant pursuant to Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. When the defendant receives the complaint and summons, they have a limited amount of time (usually 30 days) to either file an answer to the complaint or request an extension of time to respond. If the defendant does not answer the plaintiff’s complaint by the applicable deadline, then the plaintiff can ask the court for what is called a “default judgment.” Rule 55.

Although the law favors resolving disputes on their merits, and not through technical default, the Rules of Civil Procedure allow the court to enter a judgment against the defaulting party after a two-step process:

  1. Entry of Default – First, the plaintiff must file a Motion for Entry of Default and show the court that the opposing party has “failed to plead or is otherwise subject to default judgment as provided by [the Rules of Civil Procedure] or by statute.” Rule 55(a). Once the clerk (or judge) has completed the entry of default, the allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint are deemed admitted and the defendant is no longer entitled to make affirmative defenses.
  2. Default Judgment – After the clerk has entered default against the defendant, the plaintiff must then file a Motion for Default Judgment. Upon determining that the defendant was properly served and that the court has personal jurisdiction over them, the trial judge (or clerk of superior court, more on that here) may enter the default judgment, which constitutes a final decision on the case (unless… more on that here).

If you have been named as the defendant in a lawsuit, it is important that you find an attorney in Charlotte, NC to help you navigate the legal process. If you have not yet missed your deadline to respond, then you will want to move quickly to file an Answer. If you have missed your deadline to respond, you should still contact an attorney in Charlotte, NC, as you may be able to have the Default Judgment set aside (more on that here).

At Conrad Trosch & Kemmy, PA, our experienced team of lawyers can help you effectively navigate the legal process so as to avoid consequential errors like missing your deadline to respond to a complaint. As one of the region’s most reputable law firms, Conrad Trosch & Kemmy, PA’s culture of high ethical standards and putting the client first has endured for five decades. Over this time, our attorneys in Charlotte have maintained a long-standing, valued history of building relationships among peers, judges, and the community. Our attorneys operate as an integrated team, ensuring timely communication and efficient results. Call us today to learn how we can help you.

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