Default: Vacation: Inexcusable Neglect Following Entry of Default

Bequer v. National City Bank, ___ So. 3d ___, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D2485 (Fla. 4th DCA 11/10/10)

The trial court committed a gross abuse of discretion by setting aside a final default judgment because the defendant failed to establish excusable neglect.  Although the defendant had in place a system to deal with incoming lawsuits, it ignored three letters from plaintiff’s counsel, sent over a period of seven weeks after the default was entered, each of which enclosed a copy of the default, an affidavit of damages, and a proposed default judgment.  Thus, even if the initial failure to respond to service was the product of excusable neglect, the neglect following the entry of default was inexcusable.