Hilyer v. FortierAnnotate this Case
Defendant Adam Dan Hilyer appealed the denial of his motion to set aside a default judgment entered against him and in favor of plaintiff Betti Fortier. In 2013, Hilyer was backing a tractor-trailer rig used to transport logs into his private driveway. At the time, Hilyer was blocking both lanes of traffic on Kennedy Avenue. M.M., a minor, was driving Fortier's van and was traveling westbound on Kennedy Avenue. B.D., M.M.'s brother; R.W., M.M.'s fiancé; and B.H., a friend of B.D.'s, were also in the vehicle. M.M.'s vehicle collided with Hilyer's trailer, and M.M. sustained injuries. In early 2014, the trial court entered a judgment against Hilyer in the amount of $550,000 and found "that the proposed settlement of the claim of the minor, M.M. is just, fair, reasonable, in keeping with the evidence, and is in the minor's best interest." A month later, Hilyer filed a motion to set aside the default judgment. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings, finding that Hilyer, in his motion to set aside the default judgment, met the threshold showing of each of the three "Kirtland" factors. Additionally, Hilyer supported his motion with affidavits and copies of correspondence. Fortier submitted evidence in support of her opposition to the motion to set aside that controverted the facts and evidence
submitted by Hilyer. However, after conducting a hearing and taking the matter under advisement, the trial court allowed the motion to set aside to be denied by operation of law without any indication that the denial of the motion was the product of due deliberation and without any indication that the denial was based upon a consideration of the Kirtland factors. Therefore, the Supreme Court reversed the denial by operation of law of Hilyer's motion to set aside the default judgment and remanded this case for the trial court to consider the Kirtland factors in determining whether to set aside the default judgment.