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Bedrock Ventures, Inc. v. Truman Press, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

January 15, 2020

BEDROCK VENTURES, INC. APPELLANT
v.
TRUMAN PRESS, INC., D/B/A HANNOVER HOUSE D/B/A HANNOVER; HANNOVER HOUSE RELEASING, LLC, D/B/A HANNOVER HOUSE; HANNOVER HOUSE, INC., D/B/A HANNOVER HOUSE; AND REGAL CINEMAS, INC. APPELLEES

          APPEAL FROM THE BENTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 04CV-13-1236] HONORABLE DOUG SCHRANTZ, JUDGE

          Hirsch Law Firm, P.A., by: E. Kent Hirsch, for appellant.

          Littler Mendelson, P.C., by: Eva C. Madison, for separate appellee Regal Cinemas, Inc.

          RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, JUDGE

         Bedrock Ventures, Inc. (Bedrock), appeals the Benton County Circuit Court order reducing the judgment amount against Regal Cinemas, Inc. (Regal). On appeal, Bedrock argues that the circuit court (1) had no authority under Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 60 to amend the default judgment more than ninety days after its entry and (2) erred by modifying the damages award when the liability against Regal remained fixed. We affirm.

         On May 7, 2018, the Benton County Circuit Court issued a writ of garnishment against Regal and a set of interrogatories. The writ stated that a foreign judgment had been filed in the circuit court against Truman Press, Inc., d/b/a Hannover House d/b/a Hannover; Hannover House Releasing, LLC, d/b/a Hannover House; and Hannover House, Inc., d/b/a Hannover House (collectively "Truman Press") in favor of Bedrock for the total sum of $513, 098.17. The writ stated that Regal was indebted to Truman Press or had possession of goods, chattels, moneys, credits, or effects belonging to Truman Press. The writ directed Regal to file a written answer within thirty days. Regal was served with the writ on May 9.

         On June 18, Bedrock filed a motion for default judgment against Regal alleging that Regal had failed to respond to the writ. On July 23, the circuit court entered a default judgment against Regal in the amount of $513, 098.17.

         On August 7, Regal filed a motion to stay and set aside the default judgment pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 55(c) asserting that the judgment was void because it had been entered without notice and a hearing as required by Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-110-407 (Repl. 2016).[1] Regal further stated that it owed only $10, 008.62 to Truman Press, and it attached its answers to the interrogatories.

         The court held a hearing on October 24. At the conclusion of the hearing, the following discussion occurred between the court and Bedrock's counsel:

The Court: I'm denying your [Regal's] motion to set aside. But I am prepared to amend the judgment to reflect the amount owed until it can be established that perhaps the answer was incorrect. Now, we can do this by-I can set another hearing, give [Regal's counsel] an opportunity to file an appropriate pleading to modify the judgment, and go forward. We need to be mindful of the 90 days. I'm not sure where we are in relation to that.
Bedrock's Counsel: I thought I stipulated when you asked me the question-
The Court: You did.
Bedrock's Counsel: I obviously don't want to want to draw this out any more than ...

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