Pinkham v. Plate, et al.Annotate this Case
The issue this appeal raised concerned a default judgment awarded to Scott and Natalie Pinkham against appellants David Plate, Rebeccah Jensen, and their company, Three Peaks Homes, LLC. When Appellants’ attorney withdrew in the middle of the case, Appellants failed to timely designate new counsel as required by Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 11.3. Accordingly, a default was entered by the district court. Later, the district court, using a form prepared by the Pinkhams’ attorney, awarded the Pinkhams a default judgment of almost $650,000 without: (1) the amount of damages being specified in the Pinkhams’ complaint; or (2) the presentation of any proof of the amount of damages the Pinkhams were claiming. Appellants later retained an attorney and attempted to set aside the default and the default judgment, asserting that both had been improperly entered. The district court denied both requests. Appellants appealed the district court’s denial of their motion to set aside the entry of default and default judgment against them. Finding that Appellants established a right to relief because the district court erred in awarding damages without any proof, the Idaho Supreme Court reversed in this respect. The Court found the district court did not err in denying the motion to set aside the entry of a default judgment, but vacated the default judgment and remanded for a determination as to the proper amount of damages based on the proof submitted.