What is default judgement, can I reverse it in Jamaica?

QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
I was sent a claim by a former landlord I had when I lived in Jamaica. I could not have attended the Court hearing because of my job in America. I recently went to Jamaica and found out that she got a default judgement against me. Can I do something to reverse this or do I definitely need a lawyer?
Claudia Stone

legal wiz thinking

RESPONSE: Dear Claudia,
A default judgement is usually made when the person who should have answered or put in the defense to a claim does not appear, and the person who made the claim is present. More often than not the ruling Judge or Resident Magistrate in Jamaica makes sure that the two parties are quite aware of the matter in Court, and further sets numerous dates to allow for both parties to show up before a decision is made.
The possibility exist to get the judgement set aside and a hearing allowed so that you can present your case. However in making the application, you will now have to show a legitimate excuse for not showing up, and satisfy the ruling Judge or RM that you have a good defense to the lawsuit, that would convince them of the possibility that you could have won in order to successfully set aside the judgement.
Relying on an attorney is very critical.

Legal Wiz


The above does not constitute legal advice. The responses are prepared and published by inhouse senior journalists after research and discussion with attorneys-at-law and other specialists, as necessary.
The Legal Wiz networks professionals from all fields to serve the interest of all Jamaicans and persons relating with Jamaicans.