I have a default judgment made against me

The Court can make a final order against you if you do not file documents within time limits, such as a notice of appearance or a defence. This is called a default judgment. If a default judgment has been made against you, you can apply to have it set aside so you can defend the case.

Sometimes the person starting the case will be granted a final order without having to go to trial.

The person who started the case can only make an application for a default judgment to the court after the time limits for the person defending the case to file particular documents has passed. This can happen when the person defending the case does not file a notice of appearance or a defence within the time limits.

For more information, refer to Order 21 of the County Court Civil Procedure Rules 2008.

Can I undo the default judgment?

If you have had a judgment made against you, you can apply to have the judgment set aside and defend the case. You will need to have a good reason for not filing documents, a valid defence to the case, and give reasons why the court should not have made the order against you.

What do I do next?

You can make an application to set aside the judgment by completing a summons with a supporting affidavit, and you will need to pay a filing fee.

The affidavit will need to explain why the Court should set aside the default judgment. You should include all the reasons you are relying on, with each reason in a numbered paragraph.

The summons alerts the Court and other party that you are applying to set aside the default judgment. The summons should simply state the order you are asking the Court to make. Once the Court seals the summons you will be given a date when the application will be heard in front of a judge. You will need to serve a copy of the summons and affidavit on the other party.

The information on this page relates to proceedings in the Commercial or Common Law Divisions. If your matter is in the Criminal Division, visit our Criminal Division page.

For an explanation of common legal terms and phrases, please see our glossary.

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Page last updated: 20 September 2018