Is a Default Judgement Void If It Is Entered Without Jurisdiction ?
In J.C. Penney Co. v. West 114 Ill. App. 3d 644, 646-47, 449 N.E.2d 188, 70 Ill. Dec. 314 (1983) the court considered whether a default judgment was void because it was entered without jurisdiction. J.C. Penney, 114 Ill. App. 3d at 647.
There a default judgment for $ 1,199.14, plus costs was entered against the defendant. J.C. Penney, 114 Ill. App. 3d at 645.
The defendant filed a motion to quash service of summons, but failed to appear at the hearing.
The defendant, represented by new counsel, later filed a section 72 petition (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110, par. 72 (now 735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2000))), which alleged that the defendant had not incurred the subject debt, and the court denied the petition.
Finally, just over two years after the default judgment, the defendant's third counsel made a special appearance to quash the service of summons.
The trial court allowed the defendant's motion to quash, but later granted the plaintiff's motion to vacate that order and let the default judgment stand finding that the filing of the section 72 petition was sufficient to submit to the court's jurisdiction. J.C. Penney, 114 Ill. App. 3d at 645-46.
On appeal, the reviewing court found that the defendant could attack the validity of the default judgment because if the defendant was not served with process, then the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over him at the time of the default judgment. J.C. Penney, 114 Ill. App. 3d at 647.