Civil Procedure Rules of Nova Scotia  
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Part 3 - Default and Discontinuance

Rule 8 - Default Judgment

Scope of Rule 8
8.01 (1) A party who makes a claim against another party in an action may make a motion for default judgment, in accordance with this Rule.
  (2) This Rule does not apply to an application, and an applicant may make a motion for summary disposal of an application in accordance with Rule 5 - Application.
       
Default judgment by prothonotary
8.02 (1) The prothonotary may grant default judgment, if all of the following apply:
   
(a)
the party against whom judgment is sought is notified of the claim in accordance with Rule 31 - Notice;
   
(b)
the time for filing a defence is expired under Rule 31 - Notice;
   
(c)
no defence is filed;
   
(d)
the judgment is for damages only.
  (2) A motion for a default judgment must be made in one of the following ways:
    (a) if no demand for notice was filed by the party against whom judgment is sought, by filing a draft order for judgment, a bill of costs, and proof of notification, as provided in Rule 31 - Notice;
    (b) if a demand for notice was filed or the party seeking default judgment chooses to do so on notice, by making a motion to the prothonotary on notice in accordance with Rule 30 - Motion to Prothonotary.
       
Default judgment by judge
8.03   A judge may grant default judgment in any action on any claim, if the party against whom judgment is sought is notified in accordance with Rule 31 - Notice, the time for filing a defence is expired, and no defence is filed.
       
Judgment on one claim only
8.04   A party may have default judgment on an undefended claim against another party, and proceed to trial on another claim defended by that same party.
       
How terms of default judgment are determined
8.05   The terms of a default judgment may be determined on the basis that all pleadings in support of the claim have been admitted.
       
When amount is determined by prothonotary
8.06   A prothonotary must refer the assessment of the amount of a default judgment to a judge, unless the judgment is sought in an action brought by notice of action for debt, or the pleadings of the party who makes a motion for default judgment provide both of the following:
   
(a)
a claim in the same amount as in the default judgment or a claim for an amount to be calculated in accordance with a formula that leads to the same amount as in the proposed default judgment;
   
(b)
pleaded facts that, taken as admitted, clearly show that the amount is due, such as a liquidated demand pleaded in sufficient detail.
       
How amount is determined by prothonotary
8.07 (1) The prothonotary must assess the amount for judgment in an action brought by notice of action for debt, in accordance with the following formula:
   
(a)
the amount claimed for principal;
   
(b)
the dollar amount claimed for interest, if there is an express agreement for payment of interest;
   
(c)
calculated interest from the day stated in the notice of action for debt, if there is an express agreement for payment of interest;
   
(d)
if there is no claim for agreed interest but prejudgment interest is claimed, interest at five percent a year calculated simply from the day the debt came due according to the pleadings;
   
(e)
necessary and reasonable disbursements approved by the prothonotary, including the cost of giving notice and filing documents; plus
   
(f)
costs under Tariff D referred to in Rule 77 - Costs; less
   
(g)
any credits to which the judgment debtor is entitled.
  (2) The prothonotary must allow disbursements, costs, and credits in an action the same as in an action brought by notice of action for debt, and must assess damages in accordance with the following formula:
   
(a)
the specific amount pleaded or specifically calculated; plus
   
(b)
prejudgment interest, if it is claimed, at five percent a year calculated simply from the day the claim arose according to the pleadings; less
   
(c)
any credits to which the judgment debtor is entitled.
       
Assessment or other remedy by judge
8.08 (1) A judge may assess damages, or grant any other remedy, on a default judgment.
  (2) The judge may defer the assessment of damages, or granting another remedy, in either of the following situations:
   
(a)
a claim on which damages are to be assessed is defended by another party and the amount is in issue;
   
(b)
the judgment debtor is defending another claim of the judgment creditor in the same action, and facts to be found on assessment of damages, or for granting another remedy, are in issue in the defended claim.
  (3) Rule 70 - Assessment of Damages, including Rules 70.03 and 70.04 about notice, applies to a motion for an assessment or other remedy by a judge under this Rule.
       
Setting aside default judgment
8.09   A judge may set aside a default judgment issued by the prothonotary or made on an ex parte motion by a judge.
       
Judgment by sharp practice
8.10 (1) It is an abuse of process to obtain a default judgment without giving reasonable warning to a party who does any of the following:
   
(a)
in writing, advises the party making the claim that the party intends to defend it;
   
(b)
to the knowledge of the party making the claim, makes or defends another claim in the same action;
   
(c)
in writing, advises that counsel has been retained in respect of the claim and gives information by which counsel may be contacted.
  (2) An abusively obtained default judgment may be set aside under Rule 88 - Abuse of Process.
       

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