The following information only applies to proceedings commenced by writ.
Where a writ has been properly served on a defendant, and the defendant fails to file and serve a notice of appearance within the prescribed time, the Plaintiff can obtain default judgment.
Similarly, where the defendant has filed and served a notice of appearance but has not subsequently served a defence within the prescribed time, the Plaintiff can obtain default judgment.
It is also possible for a Defendant who has counterclaimed against a Plaintiff to obtain default judgment, where such a claim is not defended within the prescribed time.
Obtaining default judgment involves the filing of appropriate documents, including copies of the default judgment. Where judgment is sought in default of a notice of appearance, the Plaintiff also files a request to search for an appearance, and an affidavit proving service. This affidavit must exhibit an original sealed copy of the writ that was served on the defendant. Where judgment is sought in default of defence, an affidavit must be filed proving the failure of the defendant to serve the defence within the required time.
Where default judgment is sought in respect of a claim for a sum of money and there is an entitlement to interest, an affidavit must be filed setting out the interest calculations in a format similar to that under R68.04 of Chapter I of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules.
Default judgment is almost always obtained in the Registry and does not involve an appearance in Court. However, in some circumstances including claims for damages, or detention of goods, interlocutory judgment is entered by default and an application without notice is then made to the Associate Judge to quantify the damages.
There are some restrictions on obtaining default judgment in Specialist Lists.