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A judgment on the verdict is not the only way to prevail in a civil action. In fact, at the conclusion of trial, either party may motion a court for a “judgment notwithstanding the verdict,” (following the party’s earlier motion for a directed verdict), even though there has been a jury verdict for the other party.

Rather than defend a civil complaint, a party may merely consent to judgment, as in claims of debt, and such “consent judgments” are entered on the record and are as binding as a full jury verdict.

A “default judgment” may be rendered against a party if it is the result of a party’s failure to take a necessary step in the action within the proper time; this generally means a failure to plead or otherwise defend within the time allowed. Since, under rules of procedure, allegations not specifically denied are deemed admitted, failure to file a responsive pleading will generally result in the entry of a default judgment against the defendant.

Finally, under FRCP 57 and most state rules and/or statutes, courts are authorized to grant “declaratory judgments” in cases where the requested relief is in the form of a court’s declaration of certain rights, status, or legal relations between parties or entities. Some examples include actions to “quiet title” to real property, actions regarding ownership, or use of intellectual property rights (such as copyrights or patents), etc. In order to invoke the court’s jurisdiction in a declaratory matter, there must be an actual controversy and not a mere desire for an advisory opinion from the court.

Inside Judgment