Default judgment

As soon as defendant has got small claim and particulars of claim has been served, he should file Acknowledgement of Service within 14 day and defence within 14 or 28 days, if time extension was requested at court form N9.

If defendant failed to file acknowledgment of service OR defence then claimant are able to ask a court to issue “default judgment”:

Meaning of ‘default judgment’

12.1  In these Rules, ‘default judgment’ means judgment without trial where a defendant –

(a) has failed to file an acknowledgment of service; or

(b) has failed to file a defence.

(Part 10 contains provisions about filing an acknowledgment of service and Part 15 contains provisions about filing a defence)

Both documents are important to be filed within given time. Exception for default judgment is made only for counterclaim where acknowledgement of service wasn’t filed:

And CPR 12.3 :

 (Rule 20.4 makes general provision for a defendant’s counterclaim against a claimant, and rule 20.4(3) provides that Part 10 (acknowledgement of service) does not apply to a counterclaim made under that rule)

There are no court fee to ask court to issue default judgment.

How to request default judgment

If small claim was issued online then claimant may send request to enter default judgment into account.

If claim started by Post then claimant should file court form N225 or N205A if amount specified (CPR 12 Practice Direction 3.1-3.2).

In other cases with unspecified amount need to be filed form N227.

Exceptions for default judgment

Default judgment couldn’t be obtained in the next cases:

  • defendant has paid claim amount including court cost
  • defendant admit the claim, file or serve defence admission and request time to pay
  • defendant has applied request to struck out small claim under the CPR 3.4 where claim ahs no reasonable ground or fail to comply with court rules or an abuse of the court’s procedure.
  • defendant request summary of judgment under the CPR 24 where suggested that case has not prospects or no reason to be disposed.

List of conditions for default judgment is governed  CPR 12.3.

How to set aside default judgement

If it became clear that defendant wasn’t aware about small claim against him and has real prospect of successfully defending small claim he may apply for set aside judgment. The motion to set aside small claim judgment has to be made by filing application notice N244 and paying fee £255.

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