Rule 12.500. Defaults and Final Judgments Thereon
(a) By the Clerk. When a party against whom affirmative relief is sought has failed to file or serve any document in the action, the party seeking relief may have the clerk enter a default against the party failing to serve or file such document.
(b) By the Court. When a party against whom affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise respond as provided by these rules or any applicable statute or any order of court, the court may enter a default against such party provided that if such party has filed or served any document in the action, that party must be served with notice of the application for default.
(c) Right to Plead. A party may plead or otherwise respond at any time before default is entered. If a party in default files any document after the default is entered, the clerk must notify the party of the entry of the default. The clerk must make an entry on the docket showing the notification.
(d) Setting Aside Default. The court may set aside a default, and if a final judgment on it has been entered, the court may set it aside in accordance with rule 12.540(b).
(e) Final Judgment. Final judgments after default may be entered by the court at any time, but no judgment may be entered against a minor or incapacitated person unless represented in the action by a general guardian, guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, committee, conservator, or other representative who has appeared in it or unless the court has made an order under rule 12.210(b) providing that no representative is necessary for the minor or incapacitated person. If it is necessary to take an account or to determine the amount of damages or to establish the truth of any allegation by evidence or to make an investigation of any other matter to enable the court to enter judgment or to effectuate it, the court may receive affidavits, make referrals, or conduct hearings as it deems necessary and must accord a right of trial by jury to the parties when required by the Constitution or any statute.