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Civil Practice – Default – Motion to Set Aside – Pro Se Litigant – Inattention

The court finds unconvincing defendant’s explanation that he did not attend to his obligations as a pro se party because he was on the verge of bankruptcy—such a condition is not an excuse for failure to comply with governing rules. As a pro se litigant, defendant was bound to be aware of and abide by the Rules of Civil Procedure and to comply with filing deadlines. He failed to do so.

Defendant’s motion to set aside default and his second motion to dismiss are denied.

Defendant’s original motion to dismiss was denied upon entry of an order on 25 April 2022, triggering a 20-day window for filing an answer. In addition to being notified of this order, defendant was orally notified of the order during a telephone case management conference on 5 July 2022. Even after being notified that plaintiff had filed a motion for entry of default on 21 July 2022, defendant took no action until 1 January 2023, when he filed the instant motion to set aside the default entered against him on 26 July 2022.

Defendant has failed to demonstrate good cause to set aside the entry of default.

Because another superior court judge has previously considered and determined defendant’s motion to dismiss under N.C. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), this court may not revisit or second guess that ruling.

Conservation Station, Inc. v. Bolesky (Lawyers Weekly No. 020-014-23, 7 pp.) (Michael Robinson, J.) Scott Meyers for plaintiff; Matthew Bolesky, pro se. 2023 NCBC 14

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