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Difference between a judgment VS default judgment?

Monroe, NY |
Attorney answers 3



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There is more of a difference in terms of what you can do about the judgment. A default judgment might be able to be vacated if you have a good reason for missing the court date and a viable defense.

Rory Alarcon, Esq., is a New York attorney practicing the areas of Family Law, Matrimonial Law, Foreclosure Defense, Consumer Defense and other areas of general practice primarily in Suffolk & Nassau County. His office, Alarcon Law Firm, practices only in New York State and offers the best attorney rates in the Long Island area. His office may be reached at (631) 867-2348.


The rule in New York is that cases should be decided on the merits, i.e. on the facts and legal issues raised. There is no difference between a judgment on the merits and a judgment by default in terms of collection (if you act quickly), but as a prior attorney's answer observed there is a much greater chance that a default judgment will be vacated (thrown out) precisely because it is not a judgment on the merits.