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Wisan v. City of Hildale, 2014 UT 20 (June 17, 2014) 

Jun 17, 2014

This appeal from a default judgment was dismissed on procedural grounds, and the default judgment was allowed to stand because the appellants chose the incorrect vehicle for relief. The controversy arose when the United Effort Plan Trust (UEPT) sued Hildale and a co-defendant (collectively, Hildale) seeking a writ of mandamus to compel subdivision of UEPT property within city limits. Hildale did not respond, and a default judgment was entered. Hildale then filed a rule 60(b) motion to set aside the default judgment and, while that motion was pending, filed a direct appeal of the default judgment. The district court denied the rule 60(b) motion, and Hildale did not appeal that denial. The court dismissed the direct appeal of the default judgment because Hildale relied exclusively on rule 60(b) in the appeal. The Utah Supreme Court explained that its review on a direct appeal of the default judgment was necessarily limited to whether the prerequisites for entry of default were satisfied. Hildale should have appealed the district court’s denial of the rule 60(b) motion.