When a plaintiff seeks a default judgment, the trial court must act as gatekeeper, disallowing recovery if the complaint fails to allege a viable cause of action. This decision affirms an order setting aside a default judgment for failure to serve proper notice on the defendant who was deceased at the time plaintiff requested entry of judgment. The decision is published to call attention to the trial court’s duty to act as a gatekeeper when a plaintiff seeks a default judgment, allowing judgment to be entered only when the complaint alleges a proper cause of action. The complaint in this case did not.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2 (Richman, Acting P.J.; Stewart, J., dissenting); May 23, 2017; 2017 WL 2242873