JABULANI received a letter of demand and summons for not repaying a loan from a microlender.
He ignored it, as he had already paid the loan and had proof of this.
He was surprised when he went to apply for another loan and heard there was a default judgment against him.
Worried, Jabulani approached Scorpion Legal Protection.
What does the law say?
A default judgment can be requested if the defendant (the person who the claim is against) doesn’t give notice of intention to defend within 10 days.
This means the court ruled in favour of the plaintiff (who brought the claim) because the defendant didn’t defend their case or provide evidence to contradict the claim against them.
A default judgment can be granted if:
- A notice of intention to defend wasn’t filed.
- The notice was late.
- A plea wasn’t filed.
- The notice of intention to defend was defective,
not properly delivered or signed and doesn’t set out an address within 15km.
Requirements for default judgment:
- The right to institute action.
- A proper claim.
- Details of where the defendant resides, works or consented to.
Procedure for default judgment:
- The plaintiff submits a written request (in duplicate with the correct case number) if a notice of intention to defend wasn’t filed within 10 days.
- Original summons, sheriffs’ return of service, and documents on which the cause of action is based should be included.
If Jabulani delivered a notice of intention to defend, but no plea, the plaintiff may deliver a notice of bar demanding he deliver a plea within five days. If he doesn’t, Jabulani will be barred from filing a plea and a default judgment may be granted against him.
What can Jabulani do?
If Jabulani has proof that he repaid the loan, he can apply to have the default judgment removed.
Depending on Jabulani’s Scorpion policy, an attorney can help him apply to get the judgment removed.
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