Here is partial transcript of yesterday’s hearing in the Walker v. Kimberlin, et al. lawsuit. It begins after Aaron Walker has made his argument for his motion for default against the Kimberlin and the judge has turned to them.
MR. KIMBERLIN: Ah, we have no problem being found in default.
THE COURT: Well, you can only speak for yourself.
MR. KIMBERLIN: Well, I — I don’t have any problem being found in default —
THE COURT: OK —
MR. KIMBERLIN: — and — and I —
THE COURT: Mrs. Kimberlin?
MRS. KIMBERLIN: I have no idea what that means.
THE COURT: That means there would be no trial except as to damages. You basically — the Court would enter judgment of liability against you based upon your confession that you are in default, and so there would only be a hearing on damages. That’s what that means.
MRS. KIMBERLIN: OK.
THE COURT: Is that what you want, Mrs. Kimberlin? You want me to enter judgment against you? On liability?
MR. KIMBERLIN: It’s default. It’s not a default judgment.
MRS. KIMBERLIN: Mmm —
THE COURT: It is a default judgment. It is. It is a judgment against you on the issue of liability.
MR. KIMBERLIN: He’s asking for default —
THE COURT: Yes.
MR. KIMBERLIN: — not default judgment.
THE COURT: No, he’s asking for default judgment. What do you understand default to be?
MR. KIMBERLIN: That we didn’t respond to something in time.
THE COURT: And so the relief upon not responding to something in time is that judgment enters for your failure to respond, so it’s a default judgment. He’s asking for a judgment against you because you failed to file an answer timely. And you’re saying that you consent to that?
MR. KIMBERLIN: Judge, I’m tired of this guy. You know, he’s not gonna get a dime outta me ever in his life. He’s not gonna get anything out of me. He’s not gonna get anything out of her. You know, we’re tired of him. We’re gonna go up on appeal. You know, if we can do it and get it done — I mean, I told you last time that, you know, [unintelligible] on that thing. You always rule in his favor. It doesn’t matter what he says or what he does, and — and — and you always rule against me, you know, so to me it — it’s like a like a waste of time. It seems like I’m coming here and being harassed. And you’re allowing a sexual predator to come after us and — and do all this stuff —
THE COURT: All I asked you is if you wanted — you want to — I mean — if you consent to the default judgment being entered against you, I’ll give you what you want.
MR. KIMBERLIN: Alright, I object to the default.
THE COURT: OK. Then why didn’t you file an answer?
MR. KIMBERLIN: My answer was the motion for summary judgment.
THE COURT: That’s not an answer. They’re different under the Rules.
MR. KIMBERLIN: Well —
THE COURT: OK.
So he’s correct in that you’re required to file an answer to a complaint that’s filed against you, and the time for filing the answer can be stayed upon the filing certain motions under the Rules. The motion for summary judgment is not one of those motions that stays the time for filing the answer.
MRS. KIMBERLIN: I don’t know what the answer he want is from me. I don’t know —
THE COURT: Just a general denial. I mean, to file an answer that denies the relief that he’s seeking.
MRS. KIMBERLIN: I didn’t — I didn’t see the paper that is what he want from me. That —
THE COURT: You must have because you filed a motion for summary judgment. So it’s the same papers. It’s the complaint. But you’re required under the Rules to file an answer to that complaint denying that which he alleges, OK, if you’re going to deny it. If you admit it, then that’s fine, you can admit it, but if you deny it, you’re required to file an answer to the complaint that says, “We deny the allegations set forth in the complaint.” You can look at the Rules. It tells you specifically what to do. But you’re required to do that —
MRS. KIMBERLIN: Well, but he mentioned that he want the address too. I am not giving my address to that man.
THE COURT: That’s an entirely different issue, OK. It’s not before me.
So what I will do in this case, despite your complaints that I keep ruling against you—which I think is absolutely false—but what I will do in this case is I’m gonna grant his motion for a default except I will delay the entry of an order of default for a period of eight days. I will give you until Friday of this coming week, close of business Friday, to file an answer to the complaint. If you file the answer to the complaint, then I will at that point strike — deny the entry of the default order. Or if you don’t get your answer filed by Friday of this coming week, close of business, then I will sign the order of default.
So I’ve done everything I can to explain to you what is it you need to do. You’re representing yourselves. I’m making allowances for that, which is probably something I shouldn’t do, but I’m trying to make sure that you’re given every opportunity to defend against this if that’s what you want to do. Maryland has a strong preference for trials and not for the entry of defaults.
So if you don’t get it done, there’s no more warning. Then I’ll simply enter the default judgment against you, and the only issue then will be what damages are to be imposed.
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