Opposing counsel not required to drive defendant to court.

In Bear Creek Village Association v Bajor, an unpublished Michigan Court of Appeals case, the defendant representing himself, appealed from the entry of a default judgment entered for unpaid condominium assessments.  The default judgment was entered on motion of the Plaintiff association when the defendant failed to appear twice for status/settlement conferences.

On appeal, the defendant claimed that his failure to appear was not willful, because he had car troubles, had requested that Plaintiff’s counsel drive him to court and Plaintiff’s counsel had refused.  The court pointed out that the defendant had other alternatives besides counsel giving him a ride:  he could have taken a bus, asked a relative to drive him, or even requested a telephone conference instead.

The defendant also failed to show any manifest injustice in the entry of the judgment.  The court had already granted the Plaintiff summary disposition on the issue of liability and the only remaining claim was damages.  Plaintiff submitted satisfactory proof of the balance owed in connection with the motion for default judgment and the defendant apparently submitted nothing to controvert it.

© Steve Sowell 2017