Skip to main content
Commercial LitigationCivil LitigationLitigation

What’s the Difference Between a Clerk’s Default, Judicial Default & Final Default Judgment?

By February 7, 2024No Comments

The word “default” in the dictionary simply means the failure to do something required by duty or law.[1] In the legal field, it also means something similar, and it is governed by the Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.500.

Rule 1.500 establishes three types of “defaults”: by the clerk (section (a)), by the judge (section (b)), and Final (section (e)). The clerk default is simple. If you were sued and you “failed to file or serve any document” in response, the court’s clerk may enter a default.

A judge’s default occurs when a filed paper is deemed insufficient or inappropriate according to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, the Florida Statutes, or a court order. For instance, if a specific rule requires filing an “Answer” to a complaint, and instead, you file a motion seeking different relief, the court may enter a default against you. While the clerk might not take action since a paper was filed, the court, under 1.500 (b), retains the authority to enter a default.

This is now where the “final default judgment” comes in. If the court entered a default against you pursuant to rule 1.500(b), the court may then enter a final judgment of default against you. This is because the initial default may not have specified, for instance, the amount of damages that you will be responsible for. The final judgment will contain the judgment theory, the amount of damages, and any other relief that the court may have ordered.

A default is highly problematic for a litigant. If the litigant has meritorious defenses, the litigant will first, before he or she can assert any defense, revive the case. The steps to revive a default case are not simple and are highly discretionary.

For more information on default cases, contact one of our experienced litigation attorneys at 305-570-2208. You can also email our lead attorney Eduardo directly at

We at Ayala Law PA are passionate about helping those in legal need, so please don’t hesitate to schedule a case evaluation with us online here.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Stay informed with our latest blog posts delivered directly to your inbox. Gain valuable legal insights, tips, and advice from our seasoned attorneys.

Leave a Reply

× Let's Chat On Whatsapp!