Judgement in Default

Failure to file an acknowledgment or a defence within the time limits laid down in the CPR may result under Part 12 in the claimant entering judgment in default, that is, judgment without a trial of the claim.

If the Part 8 procedure is being used, Part 12 does not apply (r. 8.1(5)), but a defendant who fails to file an acknowledgment will be unable to take any active part in the hearing without the court’s permission (rule. 8.4).

There are two mechanisms under the rules for entering default judgment, which apply to different types of claim:

(a) A simple request-for-judgment procedure under Part 12 is available in money claims (r. 12.4(1) ), which include claims for specified sums, claims for unquantified damages and some other types of claim. Under this procedure, judgment is entered over the counter on filing a request for default judgment, without any consideration of the merits of the claim.

(b) In a claim for a remedy other than a money claim, in a claim only for costs (other than fixed costs) and in certain other cases set out in r. 12.10, an application for judgment must be made using the Part 23 procedure (see chapter 32). On an application for the entry of a default judgment there will be a hearing and the court will give such judgment as it appears to the court that the claimant is entitled to on his statement of case (r. 12.11(1) ). In this case, then, the court will, in a limited way, consider the merits of the claim. In the overwhelming majority of cases, default judgment is entered simply upon filing a request in the appropriate form.

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