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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.

Note
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.

Refer to Start a civil claim by originating claim instead if either of the following applies to your case:

  • 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 within 14 days of 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 within 21 days of 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.

Tip
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:

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.

If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents via eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow the Rules of Court 2021 and the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing a request to enter a default judgment. You may also refer to the Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021 for the full list of court fees.

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item

Fees

File a request to enter a default judgment

$40

Memorandum of service$20
Order of Court$25
Note of costs for judgment in default of a notice of intention to contest or not contest or in default of defence (not needed for interlocutory judgments)$10 + 4% of amount of lump sum costs allowed under Appendix 1 of Order 21 subject to a minimum fee of $100
Affidavit (where applicable)$1 per page subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit
In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item

Fees

File a request to enter a default judgment

$10

Order of Court$50
Memorandum of service$20
Note of costs for judgment in default of a notice of intention to contest or not contest or in default of defence (not needed for interlocutory judgments)$20 + 4% of amount of lump sum costs allowed under Appendix 1 of Order 21 subject to a minimum fee of $100
Affidavit (where applicable)$1 per page subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

After you file

If the requirements for the entry of default judgment are satisfied, the court will generally grant the default judgment.

If the defendant does not agree with the default judgment, they may apply to the court to set aside or vary the default judgment.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Refer to Digest 1
Refer to Paragraph 78 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 for judgment in default of notice of intention to contest or not contest or service of defence.
Alert-2 Note

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.

2022/04/05

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