Michael Jackson has defaulted in the $44 million lawsuit between himself and his former publicist.
The clerk’s office at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia entered the default entry earlier today. Jackson was sued on May 6 by his former publicist, Raymone Bain, who claimed the singer failed to pay her for her role in several major financial deals. Jackson has yet to officially make contact with the court or name a lawyer. Bain’s attorneys filed a motion for default earlier this week with Judge James Robertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Bain’s lawyer, Cahn & Samuels name partner Frederick Samuels, declined to comment earlier this week on whether he has made contact with Jackson’s lawyers (assuming, of course, he has any).
The official filing (dated 06/04/2009) states:
It appearing that the above-named defendant(s) failed to plead or otherwise defend this action though duly served on , and an affidavit on behalf of the plaintiff having been filed, it is this 4th day of June 2009 declared that defendant(s) is/are in default.
In legal terms "default judgement" means that Ms.Bain won $44 million and should be awarded with the solicited sum.
Default is distinguishable from Negligence in that it does not involve carelessness or imprudence with respect to the discharge of a duty or obligation but rather the intentional omission or nonperformance of a duty.
A default judgment is one that may be entered against a party in a lawsuit for failure to comply with a procedural step in the suit, such as failure to file an answer to a complaint or failure to file a paper on time. A default judgment is not one that goes to the merits of a lawsuit but is procedural in nature.
Of course, there is no judgement yet; it is just default; judgement goes immediately only in some jurisdictions.
Michael most likely will have to pay something , depends on 2 things:
1) if he bothers to show up to the next hearing or sends an attorney (if he does not then he has to pay 44 mil)
2) if he DOES show up and send somebody he needs to show proof as to why he hadn’t gone before (ie. if he wasn’t served, or if the person serving him did so lawfully)
If the judge then grants him the chance to go to trial or arbitration (which he probably will as long as mike shows up) then he could settle for a much smaller amount but the key word is IF he does bother to show up or send someone.