Dhawan v. BiringAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against defendant alleging 13 contract and fraud-based causes of action. On appeal, defendant challenged an order granting a motion to vacate and set aside a default judgment filed by defendant. The court concluded that, because plaintiff’s complaint did not specify the amount of damages sought, the default judgment was void and subject to collateral attack at any time. The court rejected plaintiff’s contention that he met the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure, section 5801 by serving defendant with a statement of damages under section 425.11 or 425.115, when the underlying claims did not involve personal injury or wrongful death, and the default judgment was for compensatory damages only. Further, the court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the default judgment is merely voidable, rather than void. Accordingly, the court affirmed the order setting aside default judgment.