If something “defaults” legally, what does it mean?
By definition, a “default” is “an omission or a failure to do which is anticipated, expected, or necessary in a certain situation.”.
One strategy to default is to ignore a lawsuit and not respond to the complaint. A party can also be in default if it
- a) does not go to trial when the court orders it to,
- b) does not produce the requested documents when asked to do so,
- c) does not pay a fine when directed to do so, and
- d) does not enter a new plea after the court dismisses an action with leave to re-plead.
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What if you just hit “default,” though?
A default constitutes an admission of the complaint’s factual allegations and reasonable conclusions therefrom.
However, the court is not required to make any legal determinations that are outside the scope of the default. Therefore, even in circumstances with properly pled complaints, the court is not bound to grant motions based on defaults automatically. Ultimately, it is up to the court to decide whether or not the plaintiff has shown enough evidence to warrant a trial.
What exactly is the definition of a clerk’s decision?
Judgments become final and binding once they have been signed and filed by the court clerk. If the complaint requests a “sum certain,” the clerk of court can enter a judgment without the involvement of a judge. In circumstances like breach-of-contract and account stated, the exact amount owed can be calculated. In cases where the plaintiff presents the evidence required by CPLR 3215(f) (below), the court is not required to determine the amount due and impose judgment.
When can a clerk’s decision be made?
A clerk’s default judgment must meet the following two bare minimums:
- Within one year after the date of default, submit your application to the clerk; and
- A “sum certain” or an amount that can be calculated as certain is being sought.
Default judgments are only available after one year of default, even if the amount claimed is “sum certain.”
As soon as a clerk’s judgment is entered against fewer than all defendants, the case is deemed to be “severed as against the remaining defendants.”. If the clerk mistakes or omits something that does not affect jurisdiction, the judgment cannot be nullified.