You can apply to the court for default judgment for goods if you filed and served a statement of claim, and the defendant hasn't:
You must wait until 28 days after the statement of claim form was served.
To find out how to apply for a default judgment for goods, follow the steps in the guide on this page.
You cannot get a default judgment unless 28 days have passed since the defendant was served with the statement of claim.
If you did not serve the defendant yourself, you can find out when they were served by:
looking at the affidavit of service prepared by the process server.
For service by post on an individual or a company, the statement of claim is taken to be served on the fourth working day after it was posted.
For service on a business operating under a business name or a partnership, the statement of claim is taken to be served at the end of seven days after the day it was posted.
If the 28th day falls on a weekend or a public holiday, the defendant will be able to file their defence up to the end of the next working day. You can file for a default judgment the next working day after that if they don't.
You need two forms:
You can get copies of the forms from:
You will not need an affidavit of service form if the statement of claim was served by the court. If it was served by a process server, they should complete an affidavit of service form and give it to you.
The person who served the statement of claim needs to fill out an affidavit of service form and sign it in front of a lawyer or a justice of the peace (JP). If you have paid a process server to serve the statement of claim, they will usually give you an affidavit of service.
If you served the statement of claim on the defendant, you will need to fill out and sign the affidavit of service form. You should include in the affidavit of service:
You do not need to annex (attach) a copy of the statement of claim to the affidavit of service form.
For information on filling out and signing an affidavit of service form, see Serving a statement of claim.
You can fill out your form:
Have your copy of the statement of claim and the affidavit of service with you while you fill out the notice of motion form.
To fill out the notice of motion you will need the following information:
In the notice of motion form under the heading 'Affidavit' you need to set out:
If you are asking for payment for the value of the goods, you should also include:
Instructions: Instructions for filling out a notice of motion - default judgment for detention of goods.
Sample: Sample notice of motion - default judgment for detention of goods.
The Affidavit must be signed in front of a lawyer or justice of the peace (JP) who must also witness it. For more information on signing affidavits, see Affidavits, statements and statutory declarations in the Legal Skills topic of Representing Yourself.
You need to take or send the notice of motion and the affidavit of service form to the local court where the statement of claim was filed.
You must file the notice of motion within 14 days of signing the affidavit in the notice of motion form (not the affidavit of service).
You need to file the original plus one copy. The court will keep the original and return the stamped copy to you.
There is no filing fee for the notice of motion and the affidavit of service form and you do not have to serve the documents on the defendant.
The registrar at the local court will decide whether to give you default judgment.
Usually, you do not have to attend court. If you are seeking payment for the value of the goods instead of their return, you may have to attend court.
This is because the court has to decide what the goods are worth, and may do this in chambers by looking at the evidence provided by you without the need for a hearing or in a hearing that you will have to attend. For more information, see Assessment hearing - goods.
Generally, the court will give you a default judgment if the notice of motion and affidavit of service show:
Once you have a default judgment you can enforce the judgment against the defendant. For more information, see Enforcement.
The defendant can apply to set aside a default judgment. For more information, see Responding to an application to set aside a default judgment.