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A default judgment can be entered against a defendant if they do not respond to your statement of claim within 28 days. Your LegalVision team will keep you informed as to any kind of response that you get from the other side, or lack of response. If there is no response, you can request the court to enter judgment against the other side. 

A default judgment is most common in debt recovery cases where the dollar amount you are seeking is clear. Here, it may be obvious that the other side has no defence to raise or are trying to avoid paying the debt.

What is a Default Judgment?

A default judgment is a judgement that has been entered due to the other side’s failure to file a defence or respond to the statement of claim. If the defence is filed after the 28 days and before the judgment is entered, you will no longer be able to seek a default judgment. Instead, the case will continue to court proceedings.

To start the process of seeking a default judgment, you need to file a ‘Notice of Motion – Default Judgment’ with a supporting affidavit which includes particular information. This includes, for example:

  • details about the person or company that you are seeking the judgment against to ensure they are properly identified;
  • the amount of money and interest that you are claiming they owe you; 
  • any particular details about partial payments that have been made to you since the statement of claim was filed; and
  • the total amount of costs you are claiming from the other side.

Once the default judgment has been entered by the court, you may still have to enforce it to be able to receive the money you are owed. A default judgment outlines clearly that you now have a right to the money the defendant owes you. 

However, this will not always result in immediate payment. Once you have the default judgment, your LegalVision team will discuss with you some options for enforcing the judgment. 

NOTE: The other side can still make an application to the court to set aside the default judgment. To do this, the defendant must convince the Court that:

  • there is a reasonable explanation for their failure to file a defence;
  • once the existence of the claim was brought to the defendant’s attention, they did not delay their application to set the default judgment aside; and
  • they have a viable defence to your claim.

What Will My LegalVision Team Be Doing?

After filing your statement of claim, your LegalVision team will be:

  1. anticipating the 28-day deadline that the other side has to file the defence;
  2. ensuring that there is a valid affidavit of service ready to file; and
  3. ensuring that the final amount that you are claiming from the other side is correct, including any accumulated interest.

Following this, your LegalVision team will file the notice of motion with the court. We will then await confirmation of the judgment.

What Do I Need To Do?

If you are at this stage of the proceedings, there are a few things that your LegalVision team may need you to do. This includes:

  1. updating us if you have received any communication from the other side since filing the statement of claim; and
  2. signing your affidavit to indicate your support of the notice of motion for a default judgement.

This article is part of a larger publication on the NSW Local Court Process. To read about the next step in the NSW Local Court process, click here.

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