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Coulas v. Smith

Arizona Supreme Court
395 P.2d 527 (Ariz. 1964)


Smith (plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against Nicholas Coulas (defendant) on two counts, one for money owed on an open account and the other on an unpaid promissory note. Coulas fully answered the complaint. The trial court ordered a trial date of October 10, 1958. The parties were notified by the clerk. On October 6, 1958, Smith’s attorney stipulated that trial be moved to December 10, 1958. The court ordered the change in trial date and the clerk notified all parties. Coulas and his attorney were not present on October 6 and did not participate in the stipulation. On the new trial date, Coulas did not show up. The court entered the promissory note into evidence and entered a judgment in favor of Smith. Nearly two years later, on October 29, 1960, Coulas filed a motion to set aside and vacate the judgment on the grounds that he and his attorney never received notice of the change in trial date. The trial court denied the motion. Coulas appealed on the grounds that he did not receive three days’ notice of the application default judgment as is required by Arizona law.

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