Default judgment

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A default judgment is a judgment rendered in litigation against a party that fails to defend against the action. The process for obtaining "entry of default" consists of submitting proof to the clerk of the court or the judge that the opposing side has failed to defend the action.

In New Jersey, the procedure for obtaining an entry of default is specified in N.J. 4:43-1. An attorney must submit a written request to the clerk of the court, along with an affidavit that recites the service of process on the defendant and attaches a copy of the complaint. The affidavit must explain that the time for the defendant to defend has expired and not been extended.

This motion for entry of default must be filed within six months of the actual default. After the six months, a default judgment can only be obtained by motion with notice to the defendant, usually by ordinary mail to the address where the defendant was originally served with the complaint.