Skip Navigation Links

Request a Default Judgment by Court

How to Get a Default Judgment When You Need to Prove a Dollar Amount of Damages

If you have filed a complaint against and personally served a defendant and he or she has not responded within the 30-day deadline imposed by California Code of Civil Procedure § 412.20(a) (3)), you can go to court and ask that a judgment be entered in your favor. This is known as requesting a default judgment.

You must request a Default Judgment by the Court, rather than a Default Judgment by the Clerk, if a judge needs to rule on any issue raised in your complaint. Default Judgments by the Clerk are available under limited circumstances, such as in a breach of contract case where the monetary amount desired is specified in the complaint. See the "How to Request a Default Judgment by the Clerk" Step-by-Step guide available on our website  for instructions and samples of the forms required to obtain a Default Judgment by the Clerk in this circumstance.


The Judicial Council forms commonly used in this procedure are:

In addition, some relevant documents must be typed on 28-line pleading paper. Customizable templates may be downloaded from these links:

Click here to download this Guide, with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms.