A new Statutory Instrument (SI490/2021) introduces important temporal and procedural changes for certain High Court default applications.
These changes come into effect on 13 November 2021. The new Rules amend the Rules of the Superior Courts by the substitution of Orders 13,20,21 and 27 and the amendment of Order 2 rule 6 and Order 63 rule 1. The aim of the rules is to improve the procedures in applications to the High Court for orders in default of defence, statements of claim and appearance and to standardise time limits for the delivery of certain documents.
The key changes include the following:
- That judgment be entered in a motion for judgment in default of defence or default of statement of claim except where justice requires an extension of time and that where such an extension is granted, the court shall make an "Unless Order", permitting one court hearing only
- The time period for delivery of a statement of claim and delivery of a defence and counterclaim (if any) in all cases is 8 weeks
- In actions for a debt or liquidated demand in money a mere denial of the debt shall not be admissible
- The requirement for a 28 day warning letter being sent prior to the bringing of an application for judgment in default, including judgment in default of appearance
- That a plaintiff is required to serve the motion on the defendant in all applications for judgment in default of appearance
- The rules will operate retrospectively to existing proceedings
These amendments will be welcomed by practitioners and clients alike as they will help streamline and standardise the default court application procedure.