RULE 55. DEFAULT

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Rule 55.04: Judgment Against the State of Tennessee.

No judgment by default shall be entered against the state of Tennessee or any officer or agency thereof unless the claimant establishes his claim or right to relief by evidence satisfactory to the court. [Amended by order effective July 1, 1996; and by order effective July 1, 1997; and by order effective July 1, 1998; and by order entered January 28, 2000, effective July 1, 2000.] ]

Advisory Commission Comments [1996].

The amendment to Rule 55.01 requires notice even to nonappearing parties. One reason for the change is the liberal Tennessee case law allowing Rule 60 relief.

Advisory Commission Comments [1997].

This amendment is technical. Rearrangement of language is intended for clarity.

Advisory Commission Comments [1998].

The former five-day rule has been expanded to thirty days. Consequently, the defendant must be served with written notice of the application at least thirty days before the default hearing.

Advisory Commission Comments [2000].

The amendment [to Rule 55.01] returns the 30 day notice concerning default back to 5 days. Consult Rule 5.02, allowing service by mail, and Rule 6.05, mandating an extra 3 days if mail is used. Also, because Rule 6.01 requires exclusion of weekends and holidays in computing time periods shorter than 11 days, a default judgment on a given Friday after a holiday would require mailing the notice on Monday of the previous week.

Advisory Commission Comments [2009].

The amendment to Rule 55.01 deletes the requirement of notice of application for a default judgment where service is properly made by publication, unless an appearance has been made.

Advisory Commission Comments [2013].

Tenn. R. Civ. P. 3A (“Enforcement of Foreign Judgments”) was adopted in 2013.  With the adoption of Rule 3A, no motion for default or entry of a default judgment is required before the clerk may issue requested execution upon a properly enrolled, undisputed foreign judgment.

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