When a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend as provided by these rules and that fact is made to appear by affidavit or otherwise, judgment by default may be entered as follows:
The party entitled to a judgment by default shall apply to the court. Except for cases where service was properly made by publication, all parties against whom a default judgment is sought shall be served with a written notice of the application at least five days before the hearing on the application, regardless of whether the party has made an appearance in the action. A party served by publication is entitled to such notice only if that party has made an appearance in the action. No judgment by default shall be entered against an infant or incompetent person unless represented in the action by a general guardian, committee, conservator, or other such representative who has appeared therein. If, in order to enable the court to enter judgment or to carry it into effect, it is necessary to take an account or to determine the amount of damages or to establish the truth of any averment by evidence or to make an investigation of any other matter the court may conduct such hearings or order such references as it deems necessary and proper and shall accord a right of trial by jury to the parties when and as required by any statute.
Tenn. R. Civ. P. 55.01