Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Louisiana

Default Judgement

We recently filed a complaint against an aircraft mechanic for breach of contract. The Defendant had 15 days to respond. At about 25 days after the complaint was filed the defendants attorney responded with a document stating that we did not follow the correct format in submitting the complaint because we failed to number the paragraphs, he also challenged the fact that we asked for attorney fees even though we are pro se and he stated that we were not specific enough in our assertions against the defendant. We stated all our assertions such as breach of contract, negligence and provided reasons to support the assertions. The defendants lawyer claimed that he is challenging the complaint for permetory reasons. This all applies to Louisiana Law. We went to court yesterday and the judge stated that we needed to file a motion based on the document that the defendant filed. What kind of motion do we need to file? Should we revise the complaint to comply with the defendants complaint about format, more specific, et. ? Why is this even an issue if the defendant did not file an answer in the alloted time? I thought once the time alloted was expired the case was in default and the judge just had to decide damages. Please help!

Asked on 4/01/08, 9:48 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Larry Demmons The Demmons Law Firm

Re: Default Judgement

What the judge probably told you is that you need to file an Opposition to the "exceptions" that the other lawyer filed. I understand that you probably didn't want to hire an attorney to save money, but if your opponent has an attorney, you really should consider hiring one as well. As far as them not filing an answer within the 15 day time period, you can only get a default judgment if you file a motion for a default judgment - a default is not automatic. It is too hard for an attorney to give you advice like this without having all of the facts and knowing everything about what you filed, what they filed, etc. As I said, you should really consider hiring an attorney. Good luck.

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Answered on 4/01/08, 9:53 am
Nick Pizzolatto, Jr. Pizzolatto Law Office

Re: Default Judgement

Your question is far too serious to have answered online. Please, please, please get to a live attorney and take his advice. As far as the default for failing to answer, first you have to take a preliminary default and then 3 days later you have to go to court and confirm the default. It is not automatic. So, get to an attorney, because not doing so may cost you your lawsuit.

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Answered on 4/01/08, 11:23 am
Johm Smith tom's

Re: Default Judgement

The rules of procedure are complicated and cases can be won, lost or just delayed if you don't know what you're doing. Some judges will give you a lot of help but others won't. You really should have an attorney handle the litigation.

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Answered on 4/29/08, 10:30 am

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