AE2S Construction v. Hellervik Oilfield Technologies, et al.Annotate this Case
Hellervik Oilfield Technologies LLC (“Hellervik”) appealed an order denying its motion to vacate a default judgment. AE2S Construction, LLC (“AE2S”) sued Hellervik and Whiting Oil and Gas, Corporation, for nonpayment of its labor, materials, and services in the construction of a mobile gas capture plant in western North Dakota. Hellervik’s registered agent, Gary Minard, received the summons and complaint on September 9, 2019. Hellervik conceded it was properly served. Hellervik did not answer or otherwise respond to the complaint within twenty- one days, as required by N.D.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(1)(A). AE2S applied for default judgment against Hellervik, without serving notice of the application on Hellervik. The district court granted the application, and judgment was entered in favor of AE2S against Hellervik. In November 2019, Hellervik moved to vacate the judgment, arguing, in part, AE2S was required to serve notice of the application for default judgment on it because it made an appearance through counsel. Prior to suit, in June and July 2019, AE2S’s attorney corresponded with Hellervik’s attorney via email. Hellervik argued this correspondence constituted an appearance. Hellervik argued the district court erred by concluding it did not make an appearance for purposes of N.D.R.Civ.P. 55(a), and abused its discretion by denying it relief under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1) and 60(b)(6). Finding no reversible error, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed.