Default judgment—general principles for setting aside
Default judgment—general principles for setting aside

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Default judgment—general principles for setting aside
  • Bases for setting aside a default judgment
  • When the court must set aside—CPR 13.2
  • Defendant does not receive the claim form
  • Defendant files the acknowledgment of service but it is not received by the claimant
  • Defendant files the acknowledgment of service out of time and the claimant subsequently applies for default judgment
  • Default judgment is wrongly entered due to defective service
  • Default judgment is wrongly entered for other reasons
  • If acting for the claimant
  • When the court may set aside—CPR 13.3
  • More...

Where the claimant has already obtained a default judgment, the defendant may still wish to defend the claim. To do so, the default judgment will have to be set it aside. This Practice Note considers the provisions in CPR 13 dealing with the setting aside or varying of a default judgment entered under CPR 12.

For information on obtaining a default judgment, see Practice Notes: Default judgment—general principles and Default judgment—application or request—application or request.

Bases for setting aside a default judgment

There are two bases for setting aside a default judgment:

  1. CPR 13.2—sets out the circumstances in which the court must set aside the default judgment (mandatory)

  2. CPR 13.3—deals with other circumstances in which the court has a discretion to set aside or vary the default judgment (discretionary)

For information on the provisions in CPR 13.3 and the court’s discretion to set aside a default judgment, see Practice Note: Setting aside default judgment under CPR 13.3.

When the court must set aside—CPR 13.2

CPR 13.2 provides that the court must set aside a default judgment if the judgment was wrongly entered. The court has no discretion and the defendant is entitled, as of right, to have the default judgment set aside. The court is therefore required to set aside default judgment regardless of the merits of the defendant's case ie even if the defendant's case lacks merit (Credit Agricole

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