Judgment By Default Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Judgment By Default, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Judgment By Default?

It is a courts decision or ruling in favour of the plaintiff if the defendant fails to appear before the court or has not responded to summons. The defendant can plead for the default judgement be waived off, but will have to provide a valid reason for not appearing when called for. In case of civil suits, the plaintiff can ask the court to mark the default of the defendant of the court in the books and may appeal for default judgement.

History and Meaning of Judgment By Default

Judgment by Default is a legal term used in civil cases where the defendant fails to respond to the summons or does not appear in court. The court may then proceed to render a judgment in favor of the plaintiff, based solely on their argument and evidence presented. The defendant has the right to protest against this decision and request the court to set aside the default. However, they must provide a suitable reason for failing to appear before the court.

Examples of Judgment By Default

  1. A landlord files an eviction suit against a tenant who fails to respond to the summons. The court may then award a judgment by default in favor of the landlord and order the tenant to vacate the property.

  2. An individual files a complaint against a debt collector who has not followed the fair debt collection practices act. If the debt collector fails to respond to the complaint or show up at the court hearing, the court may issue a judgment by default against them.

  3. A business entity files a lawsuit against a supplier for non-payment of dues. If the supplier fails to respond to the court summons, the court may grant a judgment by default in favor of the plaintiff.

Legal Terms Similar to Judgment By Default

  1. Summary Judgment: This is a legal decision made by a court stating that there is enough dispute resolution provided by the undisputed facts in the case.

  2. Default Entry: This legal term means that the court has recorded the fact that the defendant has not responded to the lawsuit.

  3. Default Decree: This is a final decision made by a court in favor of the plaintiff when the defendant has failed to appear before the court.