Default Judgment – Definition

Cite this article as:"Default Judgment – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated July 30, 2019, last accessed October 28, 2020,

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Default Judgment Definition

A default judgment is a court-issued judgement that is legally binding. Based on the situation on ground and the decision of the court, a default judgement can favor either the plaintiff or the defendant in a legal suit.

A court can issue a default judgement in favor of a plaintiff for example, if the defendant fails to make an appearance in the court or ignores court summons. Also, if either of the parties fails to execute an action ordered by the court, a default judgement can be given in favor of the other party.

A Little More on What is a Default Judgment

Generally, a default judgment is given if any action that is legally binding has been flouted by any of the parties involved in the lawsuit. Failure to provide substantial evidence for a claim or a valid proof can instigate a default judgment. Also, a default judgement can be issued by a court in favor of a plaintiff when the defendant has no appearance, defence or when he fails to honor or reply a court summons.

Default Judgments in the U.S., England and Wales

Default judgements in the United States is dependent on the state in which a lawsuit or civil action is filed. Different courts in the U. S have different administrative procedures, laws, regulations and rules. Hence, the procedures for a default judgment in a Federal Court in the United States will differ from the procedures used in state courts and tribal courts. For example, the Federal Rule 37(b)(iii) contains procedures for a default judgment. If for instance a plaintiff repeatedly fails to comply with court orders, the case will be struck out by the court and a default judgment given.

On the other hand, in England and Wales, judgement in default otherwise called default judgement can only be u issued by the court in certain cases. Failure of a defendant to comply by court orders, submit required documents and proofs after being served court papers and required number of days to take the necessary steps, a default judgment can be passed.

Reference for “Default Judgment”

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