Wrongly entered default judgment – what can be done?

Further to our article in April 2022 (When is a default judgment considered to have been wrongly entered?), we now ask ourselves; what can be done about it?

Once a default judgment has been entered in favour of the Claimant, if the Defendant still wishes to defend the claim against it, they have only one option and this is to make an application to have such judgment set aside.

There are three bases for setting aside a default judgment, one of them is a mandatory ground and the other two rely upon the success of the application put forward to the court and the discretion of the judge.

In this article, we will focus on Civil Procedure Rule 13.2 and the circumstances whereby, if proven, the court must set aside a default judgment.

If the Defendant is proceeding with an application to set aside a default judgment citing CPR Rule 13.2, it will need to prove only that that judgment was wrongly entered.

A default judgment is wrongly entered if it was:

  1. obtained as a result of the Defendant failing to file an acknowledgment of service or defence within the correct timeframes but any of the conditions in CPR Rule 12.3(1) or CPR Rule 12.3(3) were not satisfied by the Claimant;
  2. if the claim had been fully met by the Defendant prior to the default judgment being entered;
  3. where the Defendant has applied for strike out or summary judgment and that application is still ongoing.

Further, a default judgment is also considered to be wrongly entered if:

  1. service of the Claim Form or Particulars of Claim (if being served separately) is invalid;
  2. the Defendant did in fact file an acknowledgment of service or defence;
  3. the Claimant applies for judgment in default of the filing of an acknowledgment of service (which was filed late) but did so after an acknowledgement of service had since been filed.

If any of the above conditions are met then the court must set aside the wrongly entered judgment.

Should you need any advice or assistance relating to a default judgment entered against you, please contact our commercial litigation team.


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