BRITTNEY G. YOUNG AND CAREY YOUNG APPELLANTS
JANE WELCH AND LARRY WELCH APPELLEES
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH DIVISION [NO.
60CV-14-1413] HONORABLE TIMOTHY DAVIS FOX, JUDGE
M. DeMers, for appellants.
Matthews, Sanders & Sayes, P.A., by: William Roy Sanders
and Gail O. Matthews, for appellees.
PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER, Judge
appeal involves a default judgment against appellants
Brittney and Carey Young that was obtained by appellees Jane
and Larry Welch. The Youngs filed a motion to set aside the
default judgment, which the Pulaski County Circuit Dourt
denied. The Youngs appeal, raising several points. We affirm.
Welches wanted to build a home in North Little Rock, and they
contracted with the Youngs for the construction. The Welches
subsequently sued the Youngs for breach of contract, seeking
damages of $58, 143. The Welches attempted to serve the Youngs
with the summons and complaint. After repeatedly attempting
personal service and being unable to find a forwarding
address, the Welches filed an affidavit for warning order.
The Pulaski County Circuit Clerk issued a warning order,
which was published in the North Little Rock Times. After the
Youngs failed to respond to the warning order, the Welches
filed a motion for default judgment against the Youngs, which
the circuit court granted. The order granting default
judgment also awarded the Welches the damages they sought, as
well as attorney's fees and interest.
obtaining the default judgment, the Welches filed a writ of
garnishment. In response to this collection attempt, the
Youngs filed a motion to set aside the default judgment and
motion to quash garnishments. In their motion to set aside the
default judgment, the Youngs alleged that the Welches failed
to make a diligent inquiry into their whereabouts prior to
obtaining service by warning order, as is required by
Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 4(f)(1) (2015). The circuit
court denied the motion, and the Youngs filed a timely notice
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
a meritorious defense to the action; however, if the judgment
is void, no other defense to the action need be shown.
Ark. R. Civ. P. 55(c) (2015).
appeal, the Youngs argue that the circuit court erred in
refusing to set aside the default judgment because they were
not properly served pursuant to Rule 4 of the Arkansas Rules
of Civil Procedure, making the default judgment void under
Rule 55(c)(2). In cases where the appellant claims that the
judgment is void under Rule 55(c)(2), the appellate courts
will review a trial court's denial of a motion to set