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After The Complaint Is Filed And Served

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Chapter Summary

The exact path taken by a human rights lawsuit is as unpredictable as that of any major litigation. Defendants' responses have varied from default to active litigation. In earlier cases under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), most defendants defaulted at some stage of the litigation. This chapter deals with opposing a motion to dismiss, pro se answers, and defaults. The defendants in human rights litigation may request that the court seek a statement of interest from the U.S. State Department. A defendant who fails to defend a lawsuit will be found to be in default, triggering a process that generally leads to a default judgment on behalf of the plaintiffs. After obtaining the entry of default, plaintiffs must prepare a motion for default judgment asking the judge to set damages and issue a money judgment against the defendant.

Keywords: Alien Tort Statute (ATS); pro se defendants; U.S. state department



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