FROM THE CLEBURNE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NOS. CV-11-201,
CV-14-190. HONORABLE TIM WEAVER, JUDGE.
APPELLEE: KEITH L GRAYSON.
APPELLANT: ALBERT JANNEY THOMAS.
T. WHITEAKER, Judge. KINARD and HIXSON, JJ., agree.
PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER, Judge
Katie and Raymond Morgan appeal the order of the Cleburne
County Circuit Court denying their motion to set aside a
default judgment that was entered against them in 2012. We
find no error and affirm.
Big Creek Farms of Hickory Flat, Inc. (" Big Creek"
), and the Morgans entered into a contract for the
construction of a log home in Cleburne County. Construction
commenced in 2008 and was completed in December 2009, at
which time the Morgans still owed Big Creek $25,147.76
Although Big Creek attempted several times to collect the
amount from the Morgans, the Morgans never paid the
outstanding balance on the house. As a result, Big Creek
filed a lawsuit against them on September 26, 2011.
Despite repeated attempts, Big Creek was unable to obtain
service on the Morgans either in person or by mail. After the
circuit court granted a motion for extension of time to
obtain service, Big Creek ultimately obtained service by
warning order pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure
4(f). The Morgans never answered, and the circuit court
granted Big Creek's subsequent motion for default
judgment in April 2012.
Morgans discovered the existence of the default judgment in
2013 and filed a motion to set it aside in November 2014. Big
Creek responded, denying that the default judgment should be
set aside. The court denied the Morgans' motion to set
aside the default judgment. The Morgans timely filed a notice
of appeal and now raise four arguments as set out below.
Standard of Review
judgments are governed by Rule 55 of the Arkansas Rules of
Civil Procedure. Rule 55(c) sets forth the circumstances
pursuant to which a court may set aside a default judgment:
The court may, upon motion, set aside a default judgment
previously entered for the following reasons: (1) mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) the
judgment is void; (3) fraud (whether heretofore denominated
intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other
misconduct of an adverse party; or (4) any other reason
justifying relief from the operation of the judgment. The
party seeking to have the judgment set aside must demonstrate