The Second Department affirmed the default judgment granted to plaintiff bank in this foreclosure action. The court rejected the argument that defendant (Hall) had entered a valid “Informal appearance:”
It is true that “[i]n addition to the formal appearances listed in CPLR 320(a), the law continues to recognize the so-called informal’ appearance” … . “It comes about when the defendant, although not having taken any of the steps that would officially constitute an appearance under CPLR 320(a), nevertheless participates in the case in some way relating to the merits” … .
Although “an informal appearance can prevent a finding that the defendant is in default, thereby precluding entry of a default judgment” … , this is only true when the participation constituting the informal appearance occurred within the time limitations imposed for making a formal appearance … . Indeed, even service of a formal “notice of appearance will not protect the defendant from entry of a default judgment if, after service of the complaint, the defendant does not timely make a CPLR 3211 motion or serve an answer” … . Accordingly, an informal appearance, without more, does not somehow absolve a defendant from complying with the time restrictions imposed by CPLR 320(a) which govern the service of an answer or the making of a motion pursuant to CPLR 3211 … . Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Hall, 2020 NY Slip Op 04292, Second Dept 7-29-20