What is a Default Judgement?

A default judgment occurs when a Complaint has been filed by a party and the defendant fails to file any type of response to the Complaint. Certain services of the Complaint on the defendant needs to be accomplished, and the requisite time for response has to have lapsed. The plaintiff will need to prove that proper service was effected upon the defendant. The plaintiff then files a Motion for Default Judgment, at which point the plaintiff has to prove up his/her damages. Once damages have been proven, the plaintiff will need to commence collection efforts. In certain instances, when a defendant has exhibited extremely egregious conduct during a case and has failed to be responsive throughout the case, judges may decide to order a default judgment. In either case, proper notice of the motion for default judgment needs to be served on the defendant.