Rule 55. Default; Default Judgment
(a) Entering a Default. When a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must enter the party’s default.
(b) Entering a Default Judgment.
(1) By the Clerk. If the plaintiffs claim is for a sum certain or a sum that can be made certain by computation, the clerk—on the plaintiffs request, with an affidavit showing the amount due—must enter judgment for that amount and costs against a defendant who has been defaulted for not appearing and who is neither a minor nor an incapacitated person.
(2) By the Court. In all other cases, the party must apply to the court for a default judgment. A default judgment may be entered against a minor or incapacitated person only if represented by a general guardian, conservator, or other like fiduciary who has appeared. If the party against whom a default judgment is sought has appeared personally or by a representative, that party or its representative must be served with written notice of the application at least 7 days before the hearing. The court may conduct hearings or make referrals—preserving any statutory right to a jury trial—when, to enter or effectuate judgment, it needs to:
(A) conduct an accounting;
(B) determine the amount of damages;
(C) establish the truth of any allegation by evidence; or
(D) investigate any other matter.
(c) Setting Aside a Default or a Default Judgment. The court may set aside an entry of default for good cause, and it may set aside a final default judgment under Rule 60(b).
(d) Default Judgment Damages. In all cases, a judgment by default is subject to the limitations of Rule 54(c).
(e) Default Judgment Against the State. A default judgment may be entered against the State, its officers, or its agencies only if the claimant establishes a claim or right to relief by evidence that satisfies the court.
Advisory Committee Note—2019 Amendment
Rule 55 is conformed to the federal rule, but Rule 55(d) retains the cross-reference to Rule 54(c) in former state and federal versions of Rule 55.