What Is a ''No Answer Default Judgment'' In Texas ?

A post-answer default judgment is rendered when a defendant files an answer but fails to appear at trial. See Stoner v. Thompson, 578 S.W.2d 679, 682 (Tex. 1979). In the case of a no-answer default judgment, the defendant's failure to answer represents an admission of all facts properly set forth in the plaintiff's petition. See Morgan v. Compugraphic Corp., 675 S.W.2d 729, 732 (Tex. 1984). By contrast, a post-answer "default" is not an implied confession of any issues raised by the defendant's answer. See Stoner, 578 S.W.2d at 682. Unlike a no-answer default, a post-answer default judgment requires the plaintiff to offer evidence to prove the factual allegations of his petition just as in a contested trial. See id.; Karl & Kelly Co. v. McLerran, 646 S.W.2d 174, 175 (Tex. 1983). A post-answer default judgment can be challenged for both legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence. Cf. Norman Communications v. Texas Eastman Co., 955 S.W.2d 269, 270 (Tex. 1997) (recognizing that review of legal and factual sufficiency claims is permissible when a post- answer default judgment is challenged by restricted appeal). In deciding a no evidence point, we consider only the evidence and inferences which tend to support the judgment and disregard all evidence and inferences to the contrary. See Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Gonzalez, 968 S.W.2d 934, 936 (Tex. 1998). If there is more than a scintilla of evidence to support the findings, the no evidence challenge cannot be sustained. See Catalina v. Blasdel, 881 S.W.2d 295, 297 (Tex. 1994). Evidence is thus legally sufficient when it rises to a level that would enable reasonable and fair-minded people to differ in their conclusions. See, e.g., Mobil Oil Corp. v. Ellender, 968 S.W.2d 917, 922 (Tex. 1998).