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05 September 2023

Dispute Resolution guides: strike out orders, summary judgment, and how to set aside a default judgment

3 mins

We have a range of Dispute Resolution Guidance Documents available to assist both individuals and organisations through procedures they may be facing for the first time. This month, find out more about stike out orders and summary judgment, and the process of setting aside a default judgment.

Strike out and summary judgment

If, as either a Claimant or Defendant in a Court claim, you believe that your opponent’s case has no merit, or is simply not realistic, there are a couple of options available allowing you to request that the Court makes an early determination of the claim, which also means that matters are dealt with quicker and cheaper than they would be if you were to proceed to a full trial.

The first option is a strike out application, the purpose of which is to ensure that material from a party’s statement of case is deleted and cannot be relied upon in the proceedings. If the whole of a statement of case is struck out, then it normally leads to the other party being awarded judgment.

The second option is a summary judgment, often arranged if the Court is reluctant to make a strike out order. A summary judgment involves the party combining their strike out application with an application for summary judgment, which provides the applicant with a chance to have their case considered at an early stage via a short hearing and if successful, will save on the time and expenses of full litigation and a longer trial. 

How do I set aside a default judgment?

There may be instances in which a Claimant obtains a default judgment against a Defendant in relation to a claim they have brought. This usually occurs where a Defendant fails to respond to a claim, either at all, or within the correct timeframe. In such instances, the Court has power to issue default judgment in the absence of a formal hearing.

If the Defendant believes the Court has incorrectly entered default judgment against them, they may challenge the default judgment by making an application to have it set aside. According to the Civil Procedure Rules:

  • Paragraph 13.2 states that a Court must set aside the default judgment if that judgment has been ‘wrongly entered’
  • Paragraph 13.3 states that, in other circumstances not covered by paragraph 13.2, the Court has discretion and may set aside the default judgment

If the Defendant is successful in their application, they would usually be awarded the costs of the application, especially if the Claimant has been given the opportunity to consent, but refused to do so.

We discuss each of these issues, how to address them, and the processes involved, in the relevant Dispute Resolution Guidance Document, produced by our team of experts. Please complete the form below to select the documents you would like to receive, and these will be sent to you by email when your request has been processed.

To view the full range of Guidance Documents available, visit our web page here.

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