default judgment – rendered upon an omission by the defendant to take a necessary step in the action within the proper time

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default judgment:

1. A judgment entered against a defendant who has failed to plead or otherwise defend against the plaintiff’s claim.

2. A judgment entered as a penalty against a party who does not comply with an order, especially an order to comply with a discovery request.  See Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b). — aka judgment by default.  See JUDGMENT (2). [1]

1. A judgment rendered upon an omission by the defendant to take a necessary step in the action within the proper time, for example, a failure to appear or a failure to plead, such omission being a default entitling the plaintiff to have judgment rendered in his favor, usually, but not invariably, without proof of his claim except as evidence is required to establish damages. 30 A Am J Rev ed Judgm §§ 198 et seq. [2]

1. A judgment rendered in favor of a plaintiff based upon a defendant’s failure to take a necessary step in a lawsuit within the required time. [3]

Various Types of Default Judgments:

nil-dicit default judgment (nil dI-sit) [Latin “he says nothing”] (2002) A judgment for the plaintiff entered after the defendant fails to file a timely answer, often after the defendant appeared in the case by filing a preliminary motion. — Often shortened to nil dicit. — aka nihil dicit; nihil-dicit default judgment; judgment by nil dicit. [1]

nil dicit – He says nothing, meaning that he has not pleaded; that he has failed to interpose a plea or answer to the plaintiff’s declaration or complaint. Wilbur v Maryland, 6 Colo 483, 485. [2]

no-answer default judgment (1979) A judgment  for the plaintiff entered after the defendant fails to timely answer or otherwise appear.

post-answer default judgment (1979) – A judgment for the plaintiff entered after the defendant files an answer, but fails to appear at trial for otherwise provide a defense on the merits.

default n. (13c) The omission or failure to perform a legal or contractual duty; especially, the failure to pay a debt when due. [1]

1. Fault; neglect; omission; the failure to perform a duty or obligation; the failure of a person to pay money when due or when lawfully demanded. Docking v National Surety Co. 122 Kan 235, 252 P 201.

The failure of a party to an action to appear in the action when he is under duty to appear, as where a defendant has been served with timely and legal process or to plead in an action where he is required to plead. 30A Am J Rev ed Judgm §§ 198 et seq.

In the law of mandamus a “default” is a failure of a public officer or a group of officers to perform a legal duty. Anno: 175 ALR 650.
     See default judgment; wilful default. [2]

1. The failure of a person to pay money when due.

2. The failure to perform a duty or obligation.

3. The failure of a party to a lawsuit to appear in court when she is under a duty to appear or to plead when she is required to plead.

4. Fault; neglect; omission. [3]

default vb. (16c) 1. To be neglectful; especially, to fail to perform a contractual obligation.  2. To fail to appear or answer.  3. To enter a default judgment against (a litigant). [1]

1. To fail to meet some legal obligation  or duty.

2. To ail; to neglect; to omit. [2]

defaultant adj. (1884) In default; having defaulted. See DEFAULTER.

default clause – A contract provision defining what constitutes an act of default and the consequences of it. See DEFAULT.

defaulter (17c) 1. Someone who is in default.  2. Someone who misappropriates or fails to account for money held in the person’s official or fiduciary capacity. — aka defaultant. [1]


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary DeluxeTenthEdition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary withPronunciationsThird Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary LegalAssistantEdition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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