Default Judgment

DEFINITION of 'Default Judgment'

A binding judgment issued by a court in favor of the plaintiff when the defendant fails to respond to a court summons or fails to appear in court. If damages were included in the complaint, the default judgment will take those into consideration unless proof of those damages is required.

BREAKING DOWN 'Default Judgment'

While a defendant faced with a default judgment can seek to have the judgment vacated by demonstrating a valid excuse, not appearing in court or ignoring a summons is generally considered to be a bad idea.