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A Better Partnership
April 16, 2014

Individual Plaintiff requesting child support did not need to personally attend hearing for entry of a default judgment

In Macomb County v. Anderson, the Court of Appeals held that the mother of a minor child, who was seeking child support for that child, did not need to personally appear at a hearing for the entry of a default judgment for support against the alleged father.  In doing so, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of a motion for default judgment and subsequent denial of a motion for reconsideration.  The Court of Appeals determined that there was nothing in the statute that required the custodial parent's presence at such a hearing and that the statute allowed the prosecuting attorney to act the attorney for the petitioner in support actions.   The Court reasoned that requiring the presence of the custodial parent would undermine the ability of the state to represent the public interest and seek support, even where the custodial parent was uncooperative.  Further, because the father had not responded to a verified complaint there were no issues, such as custody, in dispute where the custodial parent's presence would be required to resolve.       

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