Default Judgments (General Overview)

A Default Judgment is not a trial but an administrative process. A Claimant can file for a Default Judgment of an Acknowledgement of Service when a Defendant fails to file an Acknowledgement of Service or file for a Default Judgment of a Defence when a Defendant fails to file a Defence within 14 days of service, or fails to file a Defence within 28 days of service where an Acknowledgement of Service has been filed (within 14 days).

However, the Patents County Court’s time scales for filing pleadings differ as discussed in previous articles.

A Default Judgment Application can be made on form N244 (Application Notice) and can be for a specified amount of money; an amount of money to be decided by the court; or delivery of goods where the claim form gives the Defendant the alternative of paying their value.

A claimant may not obtain a Default Judgment if a Defendant has applied to have the Claimant’s statement of case struck out under rule 3.4; or has applied for a Summary Judgment under Part 24; or where the defendant has satisfied the whole claim, including any claim for costs.

Furthermore, a Claimant may not obtain a Default Judgment against a Defendant where the Claimant is seeking Judgment on a claim for money; and the Defendant has filed or served on the Claimant an admission under rule 14.4 or 14.7 together with a request for time to pay.

On obtaining an order for a Default Judgment the next step is to file an application for a Hearing to assess damages (if necessary). After which it is a matter of assessing costs and enforcing the Order.

Periods for service differ if serving the Claim in the Commercial Court and outside of jurisdiction. In the Commercial Court the Defendant must serve and Acknowledgment of Service.

By Michael Coyle at Lawdit Solicitors, Southampton

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