(1) The magistrate shall render judgment by default only upon affidavit or sworn testimony reflecting the nature of the claim, whether or not it is for a sum certain or for a sum which can by computation be made certain, the defendant's failure to appear or otherwise notify the court within the time limits prescribed by section five of this article that he wishes to contest the action and supporting the relief sought. In the event the plaintiff's claim is not for a sum certain or for a sum which can by computation be made certain, the court shall require such further proof by affidavit or sworn testimony as is necessary to determine the propriety of the relief sought.
(2)(A) No judgment by default shall be rendered against a person who is an infant, incompetent person or incarcerated convict unless such person is represented in the action by a guardian ad litem, guardian, committee, curator or other like fiduciary.
(B) No judgment by default may be rendered against a person in active military service of the United States who has not made an appearance unless the provisions of 50 App. U.S.C. §520 have been followed, including the appointment of an attorney upon motion of a plaintiff.
(b) Upon motion made by the defendant within twenty days after the date of such judgment, or, in the case of a person in the military service, within the time provided by 50 App. U.S.C. §520, the magistrate may, for good cause shown, set aside the judgment and set the matter for trial.
(c) If a defendant offers to confess judgment at any time, the magistrate shall take the same in writing and render judgment for the amount confessed plus costs. In the event the amount claimed by the plaintiff exceeds the amount confessed by the defendant the plaintiff may request that the matter be set for trial. If the plaintiff's recovery therein does not exceed the amount confessed, costs shall be assessed against the plaintiff.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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