How fast is fast enough?
You’d probably assume that if speed is important, you can’t do any better than Usain Bolt, but the supporters of Srinivas Gowda might say otherwise. For those of you not aware, Mr Gowda is a buffalo racer from India who is tipped for Olympic glory if we ever get back to the Olympics!
Speed isn’t just important if you’re on the racetrack. It can be important if you’re applying to have a judgement set aside, and no matter how fast you think you are, it might not be fast enough for a Judge.
It’s not uncommon for judgments to be entered by default in error – perhaps you didn’t get the paperwork because you were served at your registered office address and you can’t get there to pick the post up due to COVID. Maybe you are having to self isolate, or something as simple as the address being wrong because the Claimant can’t type! These are all good reasons to have a default Judgement set aside, but if you delay in issuing your application, none of these will help you, no matter how good or justified your defence to the claim is.
Put simply, you could end up having to pay money you don’t owe, just because you didn’t apply to the court fast enough to have a default judgment set aside.
Usually when I say this, I get asked, well just how fast is fast enough. Unfortunately there is no easy answer because it depends on the facts. In a case in 2012, there were several years between the judgment being entered and the application to set it aside. It was allowed due to the evidence of fraud. In another case, in 2000, 30 days was said to be too long to have issued an application.
So the simple answer is, try to avoid having a default judgment being entered against you by making sure you have a good system for making sure you receive your post promptly but if it does happen, get the application in as fast as you can, or speed on over to my office and I’ll sort it out for you.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Sorting judgments in a flash.