Default judgment—late filing of the acknowledgment of service or the defence
Default judgment—late filing of the acknowledgment of service or the defence

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

  • Default judgment—late filing of the acknowledgment of service or the defence
  • Potential changes to CPR 12.3
  • Late filing of the acknowledgment of service
  • Late filing of the defence
  • Practical considerations for claimants
  • Practical considerations for defendants

A question that continues to cause difficulties for practitioners and the judiciary is whether or not a default judgment can be entered in circumstances in which an acknowledgment of service or a defence has been filed late, but prior to the court determining the request/application for default judgment. There is currently no definitive answer. From a practical stand point, claimants should act quickly if they want to obtain a default judgment as it is difficult to obtain one where there is a late filing of either an acknowledgment of service or a defence.

Potential changes to CPR 12.3

A number of recent judgments have sought to grapple with the interpretation of the provisions in CPR 12.3(1) but this has simply resulted in a body of conflicting first instance decisions. This is therefore an issue which is likely to continue to be highly contentious until either the point is determined by the Court of Appeal or the rules in CPR 12 are clarified.

The CPR Committee in February 2019 considered the conflicting interpretations of CPR 12.3(1) and agreed to undertake a consultation. For information, see News Analysis: Minutes of the CPR Committee meeting—1 February 2019—Rule 12.3 (Default Judgments) Sub Committee.

The CPR Committee in September 2019 confirmed that the consultation has been undertaken and views were sought on the three options set out