When is a default judgment considered to have been wrongly entered?
Firstly, what is a default judgment?
A default judgment is an early determination of a claim which is not granted on a trial of the facts, evidence and legal argument. Generally speaking, a default judgment is entered as a result of a procedural error by the Defendant. If a Defendant fails to file an acknowledgment of service or a defence, within the prescribed time limits, when they are served with court proceedings, a default judgment may be entered against it by the court, by the request or application of the Claimant.
It is therefore crucial to understand, diarise and comply with the time limits given to specific parties in litigation to file documentation. Not getting to grips with the deadlines can ultimately prevent you from defending yourself or your company.
Secondly, what happens if a default judgment is wrongly entered?
Rule 13.2 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out the circumstances where a default judgment is considered to have been wrongly entered. This rule is mandatory which means that if any of the prescribed circumstances are proven to be true, such default judgment must be set aside.
Earlier in this post, we confirmed when a default judgment will be entered against a defendant, and these include a failure to either file an acknowledgment of service or its defence. Therefore, Rule 13.2 prescribes for a setting aside of default judgments if it is proven that such acknowledgment of service or defence was in fact served within the correct timeframes.
Should you need any advice or assistance relating to a default judgment entered against you, please contact our commercial litigation team.