Bringing or Defending a Civil Case
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5. If the defendant filed a defence, but it does not contain any reasonable points, can the plaintiff apply for a "fast judgment" without going through a trial?

In such a case, the plaintiff can apply for a summary judgment against the defendant, on the grounds that the defendant has no defence to the claim. In this context, "no defence" generally means the defence pleaded by the defendant is not supported with any reasonable grounds, concrete evidence or arguable points.

The procedure for summary judgment enables the plaintiff to obtain judgment without the delay and expense of a full trial. In other words, the judgment is granted by the court without hearing the oral evidence/arguments from both parties and their witnesses in a trial. However, an application for summary judgment should not be made when the case involves serious important factual disputes. This is because, to defeat a summary judgment application, the defendant does not have to show he has a good defence but only that he has an arguable defence. If the defendant's assertions are believable, he will have leave (permission) to defend. The court will also permit the defendant to defend if the judge thinks that there should be a trial for some other reasons (e.g. the defendant is unable to get in touch with an important witness who might be able to provide him with material for a defence). For further information about the summary judgment procedure, please refer to Order 14 of the Rules of the High Court or Order 14 of the Rules of the District Court as appropriate.

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