When may a claim for a default judgment be set aside?
If a defendant can demonstrate that they have a reasonable chance of defeating a claim against them a judge may decide to set aside the Judgment. Before appealing a default judgment, it is advisable to have a draft defence prepared so the Court can assess whether there is a reasonable chance of success.
In addition, the Defendant will need to have responded to the default judgment promptly following discovery of the CCJ.
There may be some other good reason to set aside a CCJ, which is at the discretion of the Judge.
How do you apply to set aside a default judgment?
If you wish to apply to set aside a default judgment it is advisable to contact a solicitor immediately.
The first step will then usually be to contact the Claimant’s solicitor to inform them you wish to defend the Claim. Preparing a strong defence and sending a copy of your proposed defence to the Claimant’s solicitor may persuade them to agree to your application to set aside the judgment.
If the Claimant agrees to your application to set aside the default judgment you can sign a consent order. Although it is a judge, not a claimant, who can only set aside a judgment, but having a consent order in place makes it more likely they will agree. In this case, no court hearing may be necessary, and the CCJ could be set aside quickly and at a reduced cost.
If the Claimant does not agree to your application, but the Judge then sets aside the default judgment, it may be the case the Claimant will be ordered to pay your costs. If your application is unsuccessful, it is more likely that you will have to pay the Claimant’s costs.
Our solicitors can advise you whether you have sufficient grounds to apply to set aside a default judgment.