Default Judgment

Default Judgment in the United States

Court decision rendered in a civil proceeding where the defendant fails to respond. A default judgment comes after a proceeding for which the defendant has been notified, but chooses not to appear.

See Also

Ex Parte (Civil Process) Judgment (Civil Process).

Analysis and Relevance

A default is an omission of action. It is a failure to do something, and it produces a forfeiture or loss of legal rights. Failure to appear at a proceeding to respond to a plaintiff s action may bring a judgment against the defendant without his or her position being heard by the court. Default judgments are often issued in small claims cases when defendants do not appear. While only one party participates, this is not the same as an ex parte proceeding, which is designed to hear only one side in a dispute. Indeed, certain ex parte proceedings may take place without the opposite party even being notified.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Default Judgment from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Default Judgment Definition

Judgment By Default in this legal Encyclopedia
Default Judgment definition in the Law Dictionary

Default Judgment in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

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Default Judgment Definition in the context of the Federal Court System

A judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff because of the defendant’s failure to answer or appear to contest the plaintiff’s claim.

Concept of Default Judgment in Judicial Assistance

In this context, a definition of Default Judgment may be as follows: A judgment rendered in consequence of the nonappearance of the defendant or for failure to take some required step to defend against the charges or claim in a specific action.

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