Part 12 Civil Procedure Rules – Default Judgment
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Part 12 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out the provisions for making an application for Default Judgment, which allows the claimant to obtain an early decision on their case where the defendant fails to file an acknowledgement of service of a defence within the time limits arranged by the Court. This page provides a general overview on the nature of Default Judgments, when an application can be made and the circumstances required for setting one aside. For more information, feel free to give us a call on 01536 276300.
How Is A Default Judgment Obtained?
Default Judgments can only be applied for by the claimants in civil litigation cases and where the defendant has failed to provide an acknowledgement of service or defence within the time limits set out by the Court. A Default Judgment can be secured through one of two ways; either by filing a request, or making an application to the Court direct.
When filing a request, the claimant will need to complete one of two forms, depending on the type of case in question. A Form N225 is required in claims relating to a specific amount of money. Form N227 in contrast relates to cases where the claim is for a non-specific sum of money, to be determined at a later date by the Court. The relevant form will need to be lodged at the Court with judgment being made if the relevant requirements are met.
When making an application to the Court, the claimant will need to complete Form N244 along with including supporting evidence and a Court fee. Notice of the application must be given to the defendant at least three clear days before the hearing and judgment will be made providing the relevant requirements are met.
At Seatons, our team of legal professionals have a wealth of experience handling Default Judgments, and can assist with each step of your application to ensure your chances of success are maximised.
Setting Aside A Default Judgment
A Default Judgment can be set aside by the defendant when it is thought that the application was wrongly entered by the claimant. This is done by making an ‘interim application’ to the Court along with evidence showing that:
- the application was entered too early;
- the application was entered after the defendant had already made an application to strike out the claim which had not yet concluded;
- the case had already been resolved with an agreed fee paid out to the claimant;
- the application was entered after the defendant had filed an admission, but had made a request for time to pay which had not yet been dealt with.
By meeting one of the above requirements, the Court will automatically set aside the Default Judgment application. There are situations however where the Court is given discretion over this matter. Part 13 of the Civil Procedure Rules advises that the Court ‘may’ set aside a Default Judgment if:
- the defendant has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim; or
- it appears to the court that there is some other good reason why the judgement should be set aside or the defendant should be allowed the defend the claim.
When deciding whether to lodge an ‘interim application’ to set aside a Default Judgment, it is always worth seeking professional legal advice first. The Court fees involved, along with the uncertainty of success, mean that it is useful having a legal expert at hand to advise you of your rights and responsibilities in law. At Seatons, our team of highly trained legal professionals have a wealth of experience handling Default Judgments and provide clear easy to understand legal advice at low sensible fees. For more information, feel free to give us a call on 01536 276300.