If a defence is not filed within 28 days of service of the claim the applicant can go back to the court registry and ask to sign judgment. This is done by filling in a Form 76B. By doing this the claim will become a judgment of the court and can be enforced in the same way as a judgment given by a magistrate after a trial.
It is possible for a respondent to subsequently apply to the court to set aside a judgment obtained in this way, but before the court will do so it would have to be convinced that the respondent had a valid reason for not filing the defence within the 28 days and that they also have good grounds for defending the claim. See Setting aside default judgment .
The amount of money that the court may sign default judgment for in the applicants favour will be determined by the type of outcome (or damages) that the applicant is seeking:
A liquidated claim means a claim for a specific sum of money, or for an amount of money that can be calculated in accordance with a formula that the parties had already agreed to (i.e. as set out in a contract) or set by statute.
If the applicant is seeking to enter default judgment for a liquidated claim, the applicant may request that judgment be entered for the amount shown on the applicants statement of claim, or show the calculation in detail in a document filed in the court at the same time as the request for judgment (Form 76B) is filed [r 142.3(2)]. The applicant can also request that the default judgment include a fixed amount for the applicants costs of pursuing the claim.
A monetary claim means a claim in which the only remedy, or outcome sought by the applicant, is payment of money. This includes a claim for compensation or damages.
If the applicant is seeking to enter default judgment for a monetary claim (but not solely a liquidated claim), the applicant may request that default judgment be entered for an amount to be assessed [r 142.5].
A non-monetary claim means a claim which is not solely a claim for money, and where the applicant is seeking an order from the court that the respondent be made to do something, or to stop doing something injunction, comply with an obligation under a contractual agreement, or return property.
If the applicant is seeking to enter default judgment for a non-monetary claim, the applicant can request that default judgement be entered with the relief to be assessed [r 142.6]
Property Loss Claim
A property loss claim is a claim where the applicant is claiming damages for the loss or damage of personal property (not land). If the applicant is seeking to enter default judgment for a property loss claim, the applicant may request judgment for the amount of the claim shown or calculated in accordance with the Statement of Claim, which may include a fixed amount for costs (according to the costs scale) [r 142.8].
If the applicant has not attached a relevant quote or invoices to prove the amount claimed or has made a claim for an unspecified amount, then judgment will be signed for damages to be assessed. A further hearing date will be set to determine the amount of damages that may be awarded to the applicant. The purpose of the hearing is not for the respondent to further contest liability for the applicants claim, but to determine the damages or other relief (if any) that will be awarded to the applicant [r 142.9 (3)]. An applicant can only request judgment for a property loss claim under rule 142.4 if the applicant proves by affidavit (Form 12) the value of the property at the relevant time (i.e. valuation report, RedBook value of vehicle), evidence of costs of repairs or damage (i.e. invoice or repair quote, loss adjustment report etc.) and evidence of any consequential costs (i.e. towing, storage, alternate accommodation costs), The applicant will need to file the same with the court as well as proof of service of the claim on the respondent.