13.1 Applications to set aside a default judgement

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Under CPR 12, a ‘default judgement’ is a judgement made without trial, following a failure by the Defendant to file either an acknowledgement of service or a defence.

CPR 12.2 states that a claimant may not obtain a default judgment on either a claim for delivery of goods subject to the Consumer Credit Act 1974, where the Claimant relies on the alternative procedure for claims under Part 8 or in any other case where a practice direction prevents the Claimant from obtaining default judgment.

Under CPR 12.3, a claimant can obtain judgment in default if the Defendant has not filed an acknowledgment of service or defence to claim the or any part of it and the time for doing so has passed.

CPR 13 details the procedure for applications to set aside or vary default judgements entered under Part 12.

Under 13.2 The court must set aside a judgment if it was wrongly entered because under 13.2 (a) any of the conditions in rule 12.3(1) and 12.3(3) was not satisfied or under 13.2 (b), any of the conditions in rule 12.3(2) and 12.3(3) was not satisfied or alternatively, the whole of the claim was satisfied before judgment was entered.

In all other cases, the Court may set aside a default judgement entered by the Claimant as long as the Defendant has acted quickly and under CPR 13.3(1) if:

(a) the Defendant has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim; or

(b) it appears to the Court that there is some other good reason why...

(i) the judgment should be set aside or varied; or

(ii) the Defendant should be allowed to defend the claim.

When deciding whether or not to set aside or vary a judgment, the Court must consider whether the person seeking to set aside the judgment made the application sufficiently promptly.

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