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Anyone who spends time at court will see that a large number of cases result in default judgments, usually against the defendant.  This means that one side has failed to respond to a lawsuit against them.  Consequently, the opposing side wins the suit without litigating the matter.

Such judgments are granted pursuant to Massachusetts Civil Procedure Rule 55(a) and (b).

Section (c) of the same rule states

For good cause shown the court may set aside an entry of default and, if a judgment has been entered, may likewise set it aside.

In other words, if a default judgment has been entered against you, you can file a motion with the court stating why you failed to respond to the initial complaint and requesting that the court remove the judgment against you.

Typically, the court will grant such requests.

According to the “Reporter’s Notes” to Rule 55, “any doubt should be resolved in favor of setting aside defaults so that cases may be decided on their merits.” Reporters Notes to Rule 55, Massachusetts Rules of Court, Rules of Civil Procedure at 84, as quoted in Ceruolo v. Garcia, 92 Mass. App. Ct. 185, 189 (2017).

Moreover, “Early in the case, as when a default has been entered but no judgment proven, a liberal approach is least likely to cause unfair prejudice to the non-movant or to discommode the court’s calendar.” id.