Judgement in default

What is judgement in default?

Where the defendant does not intend to contest the proceedings, it would be a waste of time and money, and very hard on the claimant, to proceed as if the claim were defended. Therefore, CPR (Civil Procedure Rule), Part 12, allows a claimant to obtain early judgement against a defendant who fails to defend the claim. Usually, this does not even involve a hearing. In such cases, obtaining judgement is a purely administrative act, which is one refers to it as ‘entering’ judgement.

What Constitutes default?

A defendant who has been served with the particulars of claim has 14 days to make a response to a claim. Consequently, a defendant cannot be in default until that time has elapsed. A defendant cannot be in default if a claim form is served without particulars of claim.

The CPR, r 12.3, allows a claimant to enter a default judgment in the following circumstances:

  • If the defendant has not filed an acknowledgment of service or a defence to the claim and 14 days has expired since service of the particulars of claim; or
  • If the defendant has filed an acknowledgement of service but has not filed a defence, and 28 days has expired since service of the particulars of claim.

Excluded cases

Default judgments are not available in a number of cases even if the defendant fails to respond to the claim.

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For more information on:

  • Entering default judgment
  • By applying for judgment in default
  • Final judgment and judgment for an amount to be decided
  • Setting aside default judgment
  • Stay of undefended cases