What is the test for making an affidavit of merits against a defendant who has not appeared in court?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Lin v. Tang, 1997 CanLII 2675 (BC CA):

Therefore, in a case in which the non-appearing defendant against whom a judgment had been granted applied, as did the appellant, within ninety days (it is unnecessary to address the issue of whether "application made" refers to the date of the application or its return date), the court had a very wide discretion to do what the justice of the case required. An affidavit of merits was not a prerequisite. See Bracken v. Gilpin, [1921] W.N. 274.

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