In the most primitive
concepts of justice, one of the fundamental requisites for the exercise of
judicial authority over the person or property of another is notice. The
exceptions to this rule are rare indeed.
Skarpinski v. Veterans of Foreign Wars, 98 N.E.2d 858, 859 (Ill. App.
Default is a drastic remedy. Consequently, the process used must be
carefully followed, including providing the proper notice to the party against
which default is being sought (“defaulting party”). Default judgments sought
under Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) require a two-step process. Counsel must
not conflate the two procedures and must rigorously adhere to the time frames
specified in Fed. R. Civ. P. 55.
First, there must be an entry of default, either by the Clerk of the Court or
by a court order directing the Clerk to enter the default. A written
request for an entry of default pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a) shall be
accompanied by an affidavit or declaration showing that the defaulting party:
(1) is not an infant, in the military, or an incompetent person; (2) has failed
to plead or otherwise defend the action; and (3) has been properly served with
the pleading. A copy of the proof of service must also be attached to the motion if not already docketed.
Second, there must be a motion for default judgment. A party moving for a
default judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) shall file a motion and
supporting legal documents and properly notice the motion for
presentment. Service of the motion for default judgment and notice of presentment must occur at
least seven (7) days before the motion for default judgment is presented.
The Court will strike all motions for default judgment that fail to provide
sufficient notice. The moving party shall also append as exhibits to the
motion for default judgment: (1) a copy of the Clerk’s entry of default; (2)
supporting affidavits or declarations; and (3) a proposed form of default
judgment. The motion, exhibits, and notice of presentment shall be mailed by regular and
certified mail to the defaulting party at the last known address of the
defaulting party. A copy of the return receipt evidencing delivery, when
returned by the post office, shall be filed with the Court. In cases
involving joint and several liability, it may be premature to move for a
default judgment against one defendant in a multi-defendant case because a
damages hearing will not be held until the liability of each non-defaulting
defendant has been resolved. See In re Uranium Antitrust Litig.,
617F.2d 1248, 1262 (7th Cir. 1980). However, a determination of damages against
the defaulting party can be made if the claims against the non-defaulting
parties are dismissed. See Domanus v. Lewcki, 742 F.3d 290,
304(7th Cir. 2014).
As provided by
Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(1) a default judgment for a sum certain may be sought
from the clerk by written request accompanied by an affidavit providing the information
detailed in the rule.
Failure to comply with this standing order will result in the denial of the motion.