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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Obtaining a Default Judgment

Obtaining a Default Judgment
Superior Court of New Jersey – Special Civil Part Small Claims and Regular Special Civil Part Cases
If you sue someone by filing a complaint against him or her, that person (the defendant) is required either to answer your complaint in writing or appear in person in court. If the defendant does not answer the complaint or fails to appear at a required court hearing, the defendant is “in default.”
Before the person who filed the complaint can attempt to collect any amount of money after defendant’s default, the court must also have a record that proves what amount the defendant must pay. This process is called “entering a default judgment.” Attached are instructions with a document called a Certification of Proof that is used to enter a default judgment against someone. This Certification shows how much the person owes you and asks the court to enter the default judgment in that amount. You will be asked to provide documentation that supports the amount you claim is owed. You must complete and submit the Certification form before you can collect any money owed.
After a default judgment has been entered in the court record, the Special Civil Part Clerk’s Office will mail you a postcard that shows the date and amount of the judgment entered by the court against the defendant. Once you have completed the default judgment process, you are considered to be a “judgment creditor,” that is, someone who is owed money. Within seven days of receiving the postcard from the court, you must notify the person who owes you the money (known at that point as the “judgment debtor”) by ordinary mail of the date and amount of the judgment. You should contact the judgment debtor to discuss payment.
Instructions for Requesting a Default Judgment:
STEP 1: Determine whether or not the defendant (judgment debtor) is a member on active military duty for the United States. You must do this because federal law protects people from certain legal actions while they are on active military duty. This is required only if the default judgment is to be entered against an individual; if a default judgment is to be entered against a business, it is not necessary to complete Step 1.
You must do one the following:
1) If you have personal knowledge regarding whether the person is in the military, complete a Certification of Proof form that explains how you know that the person is or is not in the active military service. If you do not possess this personal knowledge regarding the defendant’s status, you may not use this form.
2) If you know the defendant's Social Security Number or date of birth, contact the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) via their website or contact number (703) 696-6762. In order to access to the web site you will need to accept the DoD certificate which verifies the authenticity of the web server prior to transmitting information from the web site. To obtain the certificate and access the website, click on this link:
3) If you do not have the defendant’s Social Security Number or date of birth, contact each of the five branches of the military, separately. You must state the reason for your request and it must contain as much information as is known about the defendant, such as full name, date and place of birth, last known address, service number, rank or grade, VIN number, driver’s license number, or other information to properly identify the individual in question.
Air Force Worldwide Locator
550 C Street West, Suite 50
Randolph Air Force Base, TX 78150-4752
(210) 565-2660
Make check payable to DAO-DE RAFB. Enclose a self- addressed stamped envelope. Hours: Weekdays, 7:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. C.S.T.
Navy Worldwide Locator
Navy Personnel Command, PERS-1
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-3120
(866) 827-5672 npc/organization/npc/csc/Pages/NavyLocatorService.aspx Make check payable to U.S. Treasurer. Enclose a self- addressed stamped envelope.
Commandant of the Marine Corps (MMSB17)
2008 Elliot Road, Suite 201
Quantico, VA 22134-5030
(703) 784-3941, (800) 268-3710,
Fax: (703) 784-5792
Hours: Weekdays, 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. C.S.T.
U.S. Coast Guard
Commander, Personnel Service Center (PSD-MR) MS7200
US Coast Guard Stop 4200
Wilson Blvd, Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 20598-7200 (866) 634-0574
Department of the Army
Follow the online prompts to register.
STEP 2: Compile all the documentation and proof you have to support the entry of default judgment. There are different types of information that can be considered as documentation or proof of the amount the defendant owes you. Some examples are:
• A written agreement to pay • A canceled check
• Money Order
• Receipt
• Bill
• Agreement to Pay • Invoice
• Signed Contract
• An Estimate
• Letters
• Leases
• Photographs
Your documentation should show the date(s) the debt occurred, the specific dollar amount owed, and any pre- judgment interest (interest from the date of debt up to the entry of the default judgment). Attach all copies of documentation and proof to the Certification of Proof form. Please be sure to retain a copy of all submitted documents for your record.
In certain cases, your documentation and supporting proof may not have all the required information that is needed to enter a default judgment. If you do not have written proof of the debt or as much proof as is needed by the court to make a decision, a hearing may be scheduled before a judge so that you may testify in court as to the amount of the debt you believe the individual or business owes you. The court will decide whether to schedule such a hearing, known as a “proof hearing.” If a proof hearing is scheduled, you will receive written notice of the date and time of the hearing.
Certification of Proof
The Certification of Proof form must be completed and signed by the person with personal knowledge of the facts of the case. The form must be received by the Court within 30 days from the date that it was signed by the person seeking the default judgment. Please type or print carefully.
Line 1: Fill in the name of the person who has personal knowledge of the facts of the case.
Line 2: No information required. This is a statement which you are certifying by your signature to be true.
Line 3: No information required. This is a statement which you are certifying by your signature to be true.
Line 4: Fill in the address of the defendant/judgment debtor. You are also required to specify how
Line 5:
you have personal knowledge that this is the defendant’s address.
If defendant/judgment debtor is a business, this line is not to be filled in. Fill in only if the default judgment is to be entered against an individual. Fill in with the facts that explain how you know that the defendant is or is not in the active military service – or – attach the statement received from the Defense Manpower Data Center. If you had to contact the five branches of the military directly, attach a copy of the statement you received from each branch.
Fill in the specific dollar amount for the default judgment requested, breaking the total amount down by:
1.   a)  The principal amount due: the initial amount
of money that was paid, invested, borrowed, loaned, etc; plus, any interest (where applicable). If you are requesting interest, you will be required to provide documentation that provides for the rate of the interest.
2.   b)  court costs: filing fees paid by the plaintiff to date. If you do not know the total of the filing fees you have paid, this information can be obtained from the Special Civil Part Clerk’s Office.
No information required. This is a statement which you are certifying by your signature to be true.
STEP 4: Send completed form, with all attachments, to the Special Civil Part Clerk’s Office.
Affidavit of Non-Military service 1:5-7. Non-Military Affidavit
Before entry of judgment by default, an affidavit, which may be filed as part of the affidavit of proof, shall be filed as required by law setting forth facts showing that the defendant is not in military service. Unless based on facts admissible in evidence, the affidavit shall have attached to it a statement from the Department of Defense or from each branch of the armed forces that the defendant is not in the military service. If the plaintiff is unable to determine whether the defendant is in military service, the affidavit shall so state, and the court, before entering judgment, may require the plaintiff to post a bond in an amount approved by the court to indemnify the defendant, if later found to have been in military service, against any loss or damage resulting from the judgment should it be set aside. The bond shall remain in effect until expiration of the time for appeal and setting aside of the judgment.

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