Undefended civil claims on the rise

  • May 20, 2015
  • By Hunters Law


The number of civil judgments rose by 25% in 2014 as more claims went undefended according to recent official statistics

Figures produced by the Ministry of Justice for the last three months of 2014 show that County Courts made 829,000 judgments in civil cases in 2014. These figures exclude family judgments.

196,000 of those judgments were made in the final quarter of 2014, a jump of 15% on the equivalent period in 2013. The increase has been credited to an increase in the number of claims being issued and a decrease in the claims being defended, leading to a higher number of default judgments. Default judgment is made by the Court when a civil claim is not defended by the Defendant.

The general trend between 2006 and 2012 has been one of a decline in the number of claims issued, falling from a high of 2.1 million to 1.4 million claims. 2013 saw a slight upturn in claims issued with 2014 continuing that trend with 1.6 million claims.

The final three months of 2014 saw only 46,142 defences made and it is estimated that only around 12% of claims issued between October and December 2014 will be defended highlighting the high level of default judgments made.

For further information on bringing or defending claims or any other aspect of litigation, please contact the partner at Hunters having responsibility for your legal matters or, for new enquiries, a member of the Dispute Resolution team.

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