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Apply to enter a default judgment (simplified civil process) (from 1 April 2022)
A party may apply to enter a default judgment if another party fails to file and serve a notice of intention to contest or not contest or defence within the prescribed time limits.
This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.
If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.
This page describes the simplified civil process for cases begun by an originating claim (OC) and heard in the Magistrate's Court or the District Court where all parties consent to the application of the simplified civil process.
Civil cases begun by an OC and heard in the General Division of the High Court.
Civil cases begun by an OC and heard in the District Court where parties do not agree to the application of the simplified civil process.
About default judgments
A default judgment (or a judgment in default) is a judgment made by the court against a party because they failed to do something. For example, failing to file a document required by the court within a given period of time.
Depending on the nature of your claim, a default judgment can be:
A final judgment.
This is the court's final decision in a civil case. For example, the other party has to pay you a fixed amount of money, interest on the amount and legal costs.
An interlocutory judgment.
An interlocutory judgment may be given if you are seeking unliquidated damages from the other party.
In this case, an assessment of damages hearing may be arranged, where the amount of money, interest, and legal costs payable to you will be determined by the court.
File a request to enter a default judgment
If you are the party starting a claim (the claimant) against the other party (the defendant), you can enter a default judgment against the defendant:
If the defendant fails to file and serve a copy of a notice of intention to contest or not contest on you within14 daysof receiving the OC (if it is received in Singapore), or within 21 days of receiving the OC (if it is received outside Singapore).
This is known as a judgment in default of a notice to contest or not contest.
If the defendant fails to file and serve on you a copy of their defence within21 daysof receiving the statement of claim where it is received in Singapore, or within 5 weeks where it is received outside Singapore.
This is known as a judgment in default of defence.
A default judgment will not be entered automatically if the defendant fails to file and serve a notice of intention to contest or not contest or defence.
You will have to file an application to enter a default judgment against the defendant and state that the defendant has either failed to file a notice of intention to contest or not contest or their defence within the prescribed time limits.
You can do a search of the case file at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to check if the defendant has filed either a notice of intention to contest or not contest or a defence.
What you will need
You will need to prepare the following before you file the application to enter a default judgment:
Where the judgment is for possession of immovable property a certificate by claimant's solicitor (or where the claimant is acting in person, an affidavit) stating that no relief is sought in the nature of reliefs under Order 52, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court 2021.
How to file
You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.