Dela Cruz v. QuemadoAnnotate this Case
In this negligence case, the circuit court abused its discretion in entering default against Defendant and in refusing to set aside the entry of default. In addition, the circuit court erred in sua sponte dismissing Petitioners’ claims with prejudice and entering final judgment against them.
After the circuit court entered the default against Defendant and denied Defendant’s motion to set aside the entry of default, it denied Petitioners’ motion for entry of default judgment. In its order denying Petitioners’ motion, the circuit court also sua sponte dismissed Petitioners’ claims against Defendant with prejudice. The court then entered final judgment against Petitioners. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirmed the circuit court’s decision denying entry of default judgment based on the merits of Petitioners’ negligence case. The Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case for further proceedings, holding that the circuit court (1) erred in entering the default and erred in refusing to set aside the entry of default; and (2) erred in dismissing Petitioners’ claims with prejudice and in entering judgment against them.