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    What is a Default Judgment? Part Two
    Posted: 2011-02-23 06:30:39


    By Laurie Lonsdale

    In a previous post, we addressed the question of “What is a Default Judgment?”, but now that we understand what it is, another question comes into play… is a Default Judgment final?  Or, can it be overturned?

    The short answer is ‘yes’, it can.  The defendant can file a motion to have the Default Judgment ‘set aside’.  Then, ultimately, it’s up to the court to determine whether or not to grant such a motion.  They base the decision on several factors, including but not limited to the defendant’s reason for failing to meet the 20-day deadline to file their defence, whether there was intention on the defendant’s behalf to bring a defence or a motion, and whether or not there is defence on the merits of the action.

    After considering all pertinent issues, Default Judgments are quite often set aside, in order for justice to be served for both the plaintiff and the defendant.  The court recognizes that the judgment is frequently what is needed to push a claim in the right direction, by effectively getting the defendant to respond to the claim, and by getting both parties to a settlement conference or to trial, where their differences can be worked out, fairly and legally.

    If; however, the motion to set aside a Default Judgment is denied, an appeal can be filed, either with Divisional Court or the Court of Appeal, in order for the situation to be revisited and re-considered.

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