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Applying fo​r default judgment - Step by step guide ​

Icon - step by step guide

​ ​​A​p​​plying for default judgment - Step by step guide

Step 1: Find out date of​​ serv​​ice ​

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: 

  • calling the court, if the court served the Statement of Claim by post
  • looking at the Affidavit of Service prepared by the process server 
  • asking the friend or relative who served the Statement of Claim.
For service by post on an individual or a company, the Statement of Claim is taken to be served on the 4 th working day after it was posted.

For service on a business running 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.

Step 2: Get the ​​​for​​ms

You need two forms:

  • Form 38 Notice of Motion - Default judgment for liquidated claim
  • Form 41 Affidavit of Service
You can get copies of forms from:

You will not need the Affidavit of Service form if the court served the Statement of Claim by post. If it was served by a process server, they will have already filled out and signed an Affidavit of Service.

Step 3: Arrange for Affidavit of S​ervice form to be filled out and signed or get completed for​m from the process server

For information on filling out and signing an Affidavit of Service, see Serving the Statement of Claim, Instructions for filling out an Affidavit of Service, Sample Affidavit of Service 1 and Sample Affidavit of Service 2.

Car icon  If the claim is about a car accident and need to fill out and sign an Affidavit of Service, see Instructions for filling out an Affidavit of Service - car accidents, Sample Affidavit of Service 1 - car accidents and Sample Affidavit of Service 2 - car accidents.

Step 4: Fill out and ​s​​ign Notice of Motion form

You can fill out the Notice of Motion form in neat handwriting in blue or black pen. You can also fill it out on your computer  screen. The guide Completing Approved Forms (52 kb) has instructions on how to do this.


To fill in the Notice of Motion form you will need to have the following information ready:

  • your case number (you will find this on your stamped copy of the Statement of Claim)
  • the date that the defendant was served with the Statement of Claim
  • the amount of any payments made to you by the defendant since the Statement of Claim was filed
  • a re-calculated amount of interest to include the extra days between filing the Statement of Claim and signing the Notice of Motion (see Interest, filing and service fees)
  • the name of the person who signed the Affidavit of Service and the date it was signed (not needed if the court served by post).
It will help to have your copy of the Statement of Claim and the completed Affidavit of Service with you while you fill out the Notice of Motion.

In the Notice of Motion form under the heading 'Affidavit' you need to set out:

  • the amount of the debt when you filed the Statement of Claim
  • any payments made by the debtor since you filed the Statement of Claim, or that no payment has been made
  • the amount of interest you are claiming up to the date of signing the Notice of Motion
  • the amount you are claiming for filing and service fees
  • how and when the Statement of Claim was served on the defendant
  • how you know about the information in the Affidavit.
For detailed instructions, see Instructions for filling out a Notice of Motion - Default Judgment for Liquidated Claim.

To look at a completed form, see Sample Notice of Motion - Default Judgment Liquidated Claim.

For more information on signing affidavits, see Affidavits.

Step 5: File the forms​ a​t court

The final step is to take or send the Notice of Motion and the Affidavit of Service to the Local Court where the Statement of Claim was filed. 

Alert IconYou must file the Notice of Motion within 14 days of signing it.

 You must file the forms within nine months of filing the Statement of Claim. The court will automatically dismiss your claim after nine months if you and/or the defendant have filed nothing further in the case.


You don't have to file any extra copies but if you want sealed (stamped) copies for your records you need to file copies as well as the originals. The court will return the copies to you.

There is no filing fee for the Notice of Motion and the Affidavit of Service.

You do not have to serve copies of the Notice of Motion and Affidavit on the defendant.

Step 6: Get your def​​ault judgme​nt

The registrar at the Local Court will either grant or refuse your Notice of Motion applying for default judgment. You do not have to attend court.

In most instances, the court will enter a default judgment for the outstanding amount if the Notice of Motion and Affidavit of Service show:

  • that the defendant was properly served with the Statement of Claim
  • that it is more than 28 days since the date of service
  • that the claim has not been paid, or not been paid in full AND
  • if the court records show that the defendant has not filed a Defence.
Once you have a default judgment you can enforce the judgment against the defendant. For more information on enforcing the default judgment, see After the case

Alert Icon The judgment debtor can apply at any time to set aside a default judgment by showing appropriate grounds. For more information, see Responding to an application to set aside default judgment.

For more information, see Default judgment - Frequently Asked Questions.