Civil judgments

A judgment is a court’s decision or determination and generally finalises a matter.

A judgment can result in a party being awarded an order for the payment of money, costs or other form of final relief (e.g. a declaration, possessions, etc.).

The court can make a judgment against the defendant when:

  • the defendant hasn’t filed notice to defend
  • the plaintiff applies for summary judgment because the defendant hasn’t complied with a court order
  • an order of another court/tribunal is registered in the Supreme or District Court for enforcement.

Two types of judgments are default and summary.

Default judgment

A default judgment is given in favour of the plaintiff because the defendant has failed to file a notice of intention to defend.

When you can apply

You, as the plaintiff, may be entitled to a default judgment if the defendant doesn’t file a Form 6 - Notice of intention to defend (UCPR) (DOC, 38KB).

However, this isn’t automatic and depends on the type of claim you’re lodging.

You may wish to seek legal advice before commencing legal proceedings to help you to determine the best action.

Applying for a default judgment

  1. File a Form 2 - Claim (UCPR) (DOC, 47KB) and a Form 16 - Statement of claim (UCPR) (DOC, 40KB) at the court registry.
  2. Serve copies of these forms on the defendant.
  3. File a Form 25 - Request for default judgment (DOC, 31KB) both:
    • after 28 complete days of serving your claim on the defendant
    • when the defendant hasn’t filed a notice of intention to defend.

Documents needed

File the following documents for a default judgment for a specific amount of money:

Claiming interest

You may claim interest at the time of judgment only if it was included in the original claim. It can’t be an arbitrary amount.

The amount of interest is determined:

If you claim interest, your affidavit must indicate the period of time and interest charged.

If you don’t include a date, the interest allowed is taken from the date you filed the claim at the court.

Your Form 46 - Affidavit (UCPR) (DOC, 41KB) in support of Form 25 - Request for default judgment (DOC, 31KB) should show clearly how interest has been calculated.

Summary judgment

A summary judgment is made by the court after the defendant has filed a defence.

You would apply for summary judgment when you believe the other party’s case has no real prospect of succeeding or being defended.

You must serve your application for summary judgment on the defendant with supporting documentation.

The court then determines the judgment after hearing arguments from both parties.