Kirtland v. Fort Morgan Auth. Sewer Serv., Inc

In Kirtland v. Fort Morgan Auth. Sewer Serv., Inc., 524 So. 2d 600 (Ala. 1988) the Court held that a trial court, in ruling on a Rule 55(c) motion to set aside a default judgment, should not exercise its "discretionary authority under Rule 55(c) ... without considering the following three factors: whether the defendant has a meritorious defense; whether the plaintiff will be unfairly prejudiced if the default judgment is set aside; whether the default judgment was a result of the defendant's own culpable conduct." (524 So. 2d at 605.) In Kirtland, this Court explained the "meritorious-defense" requirement: "'There should appear in the motion a clear and specific statement showing, not by conclusion, but by definite recitation of facts, that an injustice has been probably done by the judgment, in that the debt or demand was not owing; that there was a valid defense to it, and that on another trial there will in reasonable probability be a different result.'" (524 So. 2d at 606.)