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