Default judgment—still no definitive answer as to jurisdiction to enter where acknowledgement of service or defence filed late (Hanson v Carlino)

CA 1137 – Hanson & Ors v Carlino & Anor [2019] EWHC 1940 (Ch) (24 May 2019)

This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 02/08/2019

A question which has troubled the courts in recent years is whether or not default judgment can be entered in circumstances in which an  acknowledgment of service has been filed late, but prior to the court determining the application for default judgment. Unfortunately, the judge in Hanson, rather than deciding this point, held that relief from sanction principles applied in the instant case as no defence had been filed at all, such that default judgment should be entered upon the failure of the defendant’s application for an extension of time to file his defence. This analysis considers this case alongside other recent judgments which have grappled with this question but, until such a case reaches the Court of Appeal, or the rules are clarified, this is an issue which is likely to prove highly contentious, with a large body of conflicting first instance decisions.



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