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Default and Summary Judgment Explained


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19 May 2011

Default judgment

CPR 12.1 says 'default judgment' means judgment without trial where defendant:

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

(b) has failed to file a defence.

Summary Judgment

A summary judgment is a made by a court without a full trial. Such a judgment may be issued as to the merits of an entire case, or of specific issues in that case.

How to obtain Default and Summary judgment

Default judgment:

The claimant may obtain judgment in default of an acknowledgement of service only if:

a) the defendant has not filed an acknowledgement of service or a defence to the claim

b) the relevant time for doing so has expired.

Summary judgment

You can apply to enter summary judgment against your opponent if:

1. He is a claimant and has no real prospect of succeeding with the claim he has brought or the issues, or

2. He is a defendant and has no real prospect of successfully defending the claim or issue, and

3. There is no other reason why the case or issue should be decided by a trial.

Default judgment; can be obtained after 14 days of the service of claim form if no acknowledgement has been made, and 28 days if acknowledgement of service has been made but no defence entered.

Summary judgment: If you are a claimant you cannot apply for summary judgment until your opponent has either returned an acknowledgment of service form or has filed a defence, unless the court gives you permission to apply.

Are there any circumstances where you cannot enter default or summary judgment

You cannot obtain judgment in default if your claim is for delivery of goods which are subject to an agreement covered by the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

You also cannot obtain judgment in default if you have chosen to have your case dealt with under a special procedure known as a "Part 8" procedure. This is a procedure where you can ask the court to make a decision about an issue in your case which is unlikely to involve facts which are substantially disputed.

The court can decide to give summary judgment even where you or your opponent does not apply for it. The court cannot give summary judgment in cases involving possession of residential premises or shipping cases.

Syed Rashidul Islam is a trainee solicitor and can be contacted by email

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-06-02 12:11:27 in Legal Articles

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