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Motion for Default Final Judgement - Eviction

Updated on Wed Aug 24 2022 |

What is a default judgement

A default judgement means the defendant did not fight the charges the plaintiff made, and as a result the plaintiff wins by default. This usually only happens when the defendant doesn't show up to their trial or doesn't file any kind of response with the court. This is surprisingly common, particularly in cases where the tenant does not have a rational basis for refusing to follow a notice to vacate.

As many as 60% of court cases against individual defendants result in a default due to the defendant not showing up. Before the court will issue a default, a number of steps have to be followed correctly to ensure the defendant was in fact aware of, and had sufficient time to respond to, the court case.

When can a plaintiff get a default judgement?

In order to get a default judgement, a plaintiff needs to file a case in court, correctly serve the defendant, ensure the proof of service is filed by the process server, attend their court hearing, and then file the Motion for Clerk's Default form. After the Clerk's Default, there will be another motion to request the judge in the case to enter a Final Default (which happens on this form).

What is the Motion for Default Final Judgement (Damages) Used For?

The Motion for Default Final Judgement form is used in Florida evictions cases to ask the judge to issue a judgement in favor of the plaintiff due to the defendant not arguing their case (i.e., due to a default). This form is used in evictions cases after the Clerk's Motion has been filed and accepted. The 'Damages' part just means this eviction case includes a claim by the plaintiff for money from the defendant, usually to pay the cost of damage to the property, or unpaid backrent.

What's the difference between the Final Default Judgement form and this Clerk's Default form?

The Motion for Clerk's Default comes first in the process because the clerk verifies all the paperwork was filed correctly. This form, the Motion for Final Default Judgement form in an eviction case, is a motion filed to request the judge to issue the final judgement. This final judgement is what allows a plaintiff (landlord) to actually get some kind of action. In this case, allows the landlord to start collecting the judgement.

How is the form filed in court?

Typically, this form is partially filled out by the plaintiff and handed to the clerk while the plaintiff is still in court for the trial, sometimes even with the Clerk's Motion form. Since a default judgement is primarily only relevant when the defendant doesn't appear for a trial after being served correctly, the plaintiff can usually decide to file it right away after the trial.

To speed things along, the plaintiff can prepare a Motion for Default Final Judgement online and bring it to court with them.

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