Default Judgment

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Default Judgment

Judgment entered against a party who has failed to defend against a claim that has been brought by another party. Under rules of Civil Procedure, when a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead (i.e., answer) or otherwise defend, the party is in default and a judgment by default may be entered either by the clerk or the court.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

default judgment

n. if a defendant in a lawsuit fails to respond to a complaint in the time set by law (usually 30 days), then the plaintiff (suer) can request that the default (failure) be entered into the court record by the clerk, which gives the plaintiff the right to get a default judgment. If the complaint was for a specific amount of money owed on a note, other money due, or a specific contract price (or if the amount due is easy to calculate) then the clerk of the court can enter a default judgment. If proof of damages or other relief is necessary, a hearing will be held in which the judge determines terms of the default judgment. In either case the defendant cannot speak for himself/herself. A defendant who fails to file an answer or other legal response when it is due can request that the default be set aside, but must show a legitimate excuse and a good defense to the lawsuit. (See: default, summons, complaint)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Daniels issued other default judgements against Iran in 2011 and 2016 that ordered the Islamic Republic to pay victims and insurers billions of dollars for damages and deaths in the hijacker attacks.
She added that the main issue with the current law is that the procedures, particularly after default judgement, do not require any judicial oversight from the court itself as the Registrar of the High Court or the Clerk of the Magistrate's Court may simply issue a warrant of execution against immovable property.
This is believed to be the first instance when any court in the world has ordered the use of a social networking website for serving a default judgement on the defendant, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
A default judgement is given by the court where the defendant does not appear in court to defend the case.
The AGF categorically stated that no default judgement was entered against Nigeria in the enforcement proceedings by P and ID as the Federal Government through its foreign solicitors, Messrs.
He said, what is being taunted as a default judgement was actually a default entry made by the US District Court Clerk, adding that, under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), a Defendant has up to 60 days period to answer to a petition filed against it.
'It is to be noted that under the FSIA, a default judgement cannot be entered against a foreign State like Nigeria unless the presiding judge determines so after the petitioner/claimant must have established its entitlement to a default judgement,' he said.
According to the Chief Law Officer, 'Even where the court determines that it has jurisdiction, a default judgement will not be granted automatically or as a routine matter to be handled by a court clerk as this can only be done after a formal trial.'