Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in Federal Court
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 7:28 AM

A Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in Federal Court is the topic of this blog post.

A Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in United States District Court is authorized by Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which states that, “When a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must enter the party's default.”

To submit a Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in United States District Court you must file the following documents:

An Application for Entry of Default signed by the Plaintiff or their attorney of record.

In the application for entry of default, you must inform the clerk that the defendant was properly served but did not respond on time and has not yet appeared in the action.

Declaration in Support of Application for Entry of Default.

In the declaration, you or your attorney of record must swear under penalty of perjury that the defendant was properly served and never appeared in the action. The proofs of service for each defendant must be attached to this declaration as proof that the defendant was properly served. The declaration must also state that the defendant is not a minor, an incompetent person, or in the military service.

A Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in United States District Court should be filed as soon as possible once the deadline for the defendant(s) to respond has expired. This is important as once a default has been entered against a defendant by the clerk under Rule 55(a), the entry of default prohibits the defendant from filing an appearance in the lawsuit unless the defendant files a motion to vacate the default and has a good explanation for why they failed to respond on time.

Another reason to submit your Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in United States District Court as soon as possible is the fact that the court clerk will not automatically enter default after a defendant’s time to respond to a lawsuit has passed. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to ask the clerk to enter default against a defendant or defendants. If the plaintiff fails to do so and the defendant appears in the case, even if the defendant files an answer or a motion well after the deadline to do so, the clerk cannot enter default and some judges will allow the defendant to proceed in the action.

Sample Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in Word format.

Attorneys or parties in civil litigation that would like to view or download a sample Rule 55(a) request for entry of default in United States District Court containing brief instructions, a sample declaration and proof of service sold by the author can use the link shown below.

Sample Request for Entry of Default Under Rule 55(a) in United States District Court by Stan Burman on Scribd

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The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and retired litigation paralegal that worked in California and Federal litigation from January 1995 through September 2017 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale.

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DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.