Local Court New South Wales

Orders and judgments in civil cases

In civil cases, a court can make an order or a judgment, or both. An order is usually made during the case ordering a party to file or serve documents or do other things.

A judgment is the order a magistrate or assessor makes when deciding the case.

A default judgment can be given in cases where there is no defence filed.

After a judgment or default judgment is made, the amount to be paid is due immediately. If a defendant does not pay, the judgment amount can be enforced.

Read more information about enforcing a judgment.

If a default judgment has been entered and a defendant wants to file a defence, they can apply to have the default judgment set aside. This is done by filing a notice of motion. You should get legal advice about your defence and what to include in the notice of motion.

Paying a judgment amount in civil cases

Judgment amounts that are determined in civil cases need to be paid immediately or as ordered by the court.

You need to pay a civil judgment amount directly to the party in whose favour the order was made.

What if you cannot afford to pay a judgment?

If you cannot pay the full amount, want an extension of time to pay or want to pay by instalments you should first speak to the person or firm to whom the money is owed. If they agree, put the agreement in writing. Both you and the other party need to sign this as a record of the agreement.

Alternatively, you can apply to a registrar at the court where the order was made. The registrar will make a decision. However, the other party can object. The objection may have to be heard by a judicial officer.

If you do not comply with the payment arrangement or do not pay the judgment amount as required, enforcement action may be taken to recover the amount owing.

Read more information about enforcing a judgment.

See also how to contact Office of the Sheriff - Civil Operations Unit.

Last updated:

31 Jan 2024

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