Maine Supreme Judicial Court Upholds Entry of Default and Default Judgment Sanction Against Consumer Debtor

Daniel J. Eichorn, Esq. obtained an order instructing the clerk to enter a consumer debtor’s default and granting default judgment against the debtor as a sanction for the debtor’s failure to respond to discovery requests. The debtor appealed and Attorney Eichorn filed a brief in opposition. In a memorandum of decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the lower court’s entry of default judgment. The Supreme Judicial Court noted that it was not an abuse of discretion for the trial court to direct the clerk to enter the debtor’s default after the debtor failed to file an answer, despite multiple opportunities to do so and multiple warnings that the failure to file an answer could result in an entry of default. The Court also noted that it was not an abuse of discretion for the trial court to grant default judgment against the debtor as a sanction for failure to respond to discovery requests, after multiple extensions of the discovery deadline and multiple warnings that the failure to respond could result in a default judgment. See LVNV Funding LLC v. Jesse Field, Mem-17-58 (June 1, 2017).