A Minor Civil Claim is an application about:
- disputes up to $25 000
- various neighbourhood dispute matters (those based on trespass or nuisance)
- minor statutory proceedings, which include applications under the following legislation:
- Fences Act 1975 (SA)
- an application under the Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995 (SA) pt 4 or s 33
- Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1996 (SA) s 11(8)
- Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (SA) pt 5
- Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 (SA) (applications for $25 000 or less) and
- any other proceeding declared by a particular statute to be a minor statutory proceeding.
See Magistrates Court Act 1991 (SA) s 3(1) and (2).
Note that neighbourhood disputes and minor statutory proceedings may involve amounts over $25 000 and still be heard as minor civil claims. If a neighbourhood dispute or a minor statutory proceeding involves a monetary claim for more than $25 000, or a claim for relief in the nature of an order to carry out work where the value of the work is more than $25 000, a party may choose to exclude the case from the rules governing minor civil actions and have it treated as a case in the general division [Magistrates Court Act 1991 (SA) s 3(4)].
In a minor civil claim, a lawyer normally cannot represent a party at the trial (although they can be involved in all of the preliminary steps leading up to the trial) and the procedures at trial are not as formal as claims in the General Division (see Magistrates Court Act 1991 (SA) s 38).
Some examples of minor civil claims include:
- motor vehicle property damage claims (see ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES, Motor vehicle accidents, Property damage and the Motor Vehicle Accident Kit)
- claims for money owed (see DEBT)
- neighbour disputes (see NEIGHBOURS)
- Fences Act 1975 (SA) applications (see NEIGHBOURS, Fences and the Fences and the Law booklet)
- strata and community title matters (see HOUSING, Strata titles and the Strata and Community Titles booklet)
- an application under section 61 of the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA) on the basis that an association has engaged, or proposes to engage, in conduct that is oppressive or unreasonable (see COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS, Disputes)
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.