Setting Aside Judgment

If you are a Defendant and you were not aware of the claim being made against you until after judgment then you can apply to set aside judgment.

You may not become aware that judgment has been made against you until a court bailiff contacts you. You should act quickly and contact the court and make an application for:

1) A Stay of Execution.

2) An order Setting Aside Judgment.

You should obtain an "Application Notice Form" from the court. You will need to support your application with either an Affidavit or a Statement.

Usually a court will agree to set aside judgment if you can show that you did not receive any court papers and therefore were not aware of the court case against you. For example, you may have moved and the Claimant may have given your old address to the court.

An application for a stay of execution is necessary to stop the Claimant from trying to enforce judgment. You can make this application without telling the Claimant and the court can make an order without the Claimant being at court.

When you make your application to set aside judgment the court will fix a hearing date. Both you and the Claimant will have to go to this hearing. You will have to explain why you want the court to set aside judgment.

If the court sets aside judgment you will be allowed to put in a Defence explaining why you do not agree with the Claimant's claim.

The court will also give you a timetable to explain what you must do next. For example, you may have to tell the Plaintiff what documents you want to use to prove your Defence and if you have witness(es) they may have to make statement(s) which you must send copies of to the Plaintiff.

If you are the Claimant and you become aware at any stage that the particulars of claim may not have reached the Defendant you should apply to set aside any judgment which has been made.

Human Rights Act 1998 - and your civil case

Small Claims Court