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Rule 538. If Defendant Fails to Appear


If the defendant who has been duly served with a citation shall fail to appear at, or before, ten o'clock a. m. on appearance day, the justice shall proceed in the following manner:

(a) If the plaintiff's claim be liquidated and proved by an instrument of writing purporting to have been executed by the defendant, or be upon an open account duly verified by affidavit, the justice shall, whether the plaintiff appear or not, render judgment in his favor against the defend­ant for the amount of such written obliga­tion or sworn account, after deducting all credits indorsed thereon.

(b) If the plaintiff's claim is not so liquidated, and the plaintiff appears in person or by attorney, the justice shall proceed to hear the testimony; and, if it appears therefrom that the plaintiff is entitled to recover, judgment shall be rendered against the defendant for such amount as the testimony shows the plaintiff entitled to; otherwise, judgment shall be rendered for the defendant.

Source: Art. 2405.

Change: Substitution of "claim" for "cause of action." Omission of "agent" in Subdivision (b).

Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941.