PRACTICE TIP: FILE A MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME TO PREVENT POSSIBLE DEFAULT
Once this is filed, the worry about the deadline is significantly diminished because the rules of procedure require notice of all proceedings to all parties who have entered an appearance. Of course, steps should be taken to file a timely answer, but this process relieves a significant amount of worry. This procedural matter was revealed in the recent case of Burnsed v. Merritt, NO. 2009-CA-00051-COA (Decided June 22, 2010). The Court reversed a decision where no notice was served on a defendant who filed a Motion for Additional Time. The only caveat to this technique is where there are jurisdictional questions. If there are such questions, the filing of the Motion for Time could negate the jurisdictional challenge. This technique and the form Entry of Appearance will appear in my next book: Forms, Checklists and Procedures for the Family Lawyer which is to be published this summer by the American Bar Association.