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Silva v. Silva, 2018 UT App 210 (Nov. 8, 2018)

Nov 8, 2018

Default judgment was entered against wife for failing to appear.  Husband had requested alternative service, which was approved by the district court and husband followed proper procedures for alternative service.  Wife brought a Rule 60(b)(1) motion, arguing for excusable neglect under as her husband had been in direct contact with her during the pendency of the case, but had not informed her of the suit.  District court denied motion to set aside, holding that the alternative notice was legally adequate.  On appeal, the court of appeals reversed, stating that the inquiry in a 60(b)(1) motion to set aside default was whether husband’s failure to notify wife, despite his having direct contact with her, constituted grounds for excusable neglect, independent of whether the notice was legally adequate.