Litigation: How to Vacate Default Judgements Issued Against Amazon Sellers when Faced with Lawsuits
If you’re an Amazon seller and you were sued and you never responded and now you have a default judgment entered against you, these are the two things that you need to know.
These are the grounds to go and fight the judge, to ask the judge to take the default away, or what’s called, vacate the default, a motion to vacate a default. They require you to show two things to that judge.
Number one, a reasonable excuse for your delay, a reasonable excuse why you didn’t respond to the lawsuit when it was initially filed against you. And number two, that you can win the case on the merits.
So let’s talk about number 1: What’s a reasonable excuse for not responding the lawsuit?
Well, you didn’t receive the lawsuit. A lot of these law firms who are suing sellers like you are using what’s called substituted service, which means they’re emailing it to you or sending it to you in some way that’s different than someone knocking on your door and handing you the papers like in a traditional lawsuit. So a reasonable excuse is that you didn’t receive the papers. I don’t have access to that email address anymore, something that shows the cost or that you didn’t know about the lawsuit in time. You can also argue things like COVID, like the papers were delivered to my office, but I’ve been working from home for over a year.
Number two: that you can win the case on the merits. That’s called a meritorious defense.
If you are accused of selling counterfeit products, a great defense is, here are my invoices, they are not counterfeit. If you’re accused of violating a patent, demonstrate to the court that your product does not violate the patent or that the patent is invalid.
So these are really broad strokes. This is information you need to know about litigation. Number one, try to never get a default against you. Get an answer into the court. Number two, if you do end up with a default, be prepared to show those two things, a reasonable excuse and that you can win the case on the merits.