From the judge’s decision:
“Ordinarily, the Court would enter a default order against a party that fails to participate in any stage of a
proceeding. Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 616-1-2-.30(1) and (5). Nonetheless, despite the Defendant’s failure to appear, Plaintiffs asked this Court to decide the case on the merits
of their arguments and evidence. The Court granted Plaintiffs’ request.”
This doesn’t say a default order was offered. It describes the typical scenario, but since Malihi acted in place of Obama’s defense attorney, there’s no reason to assume he wouldn’t have done so without holding the hearing.