default of pleadings
default of pleadingsfailure by either party to complete a step required of him in the prescribed time limits. So, where the plaintiff is required to serve a statement of claim on a defendant and fails to do so, the defendant, after the expiration of the period prescribed for service of the statement of claim, may apply to the court for an order to dismiss the action; the court may dismiss the action or make such other order on such terms as it thinks just. Also, if a defendant fails to serve a defence the plaintiff, after the expiration of the period prescribed for service of a defence, may (subject to the nature of the claim) obtain a final or interlocutory judgment in default. The court may, on such terms as it thinks just, set aside or vary any default judgment thus obtained.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006