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Starting minor civil claims proceedings

If after the 21 day period following giving notice of the intended claim there has been either no response or an unsatisfactory response the claim itself can be started.

Beginning formal legal action against the debtor defendant

If the other party does not accept the claim, or try to negotiate after 21 days of serving the Form 1A or letter of demand, then the next step is to begin formal legal action. If negotiations are commenced and are unsuccessful, then legal action can be started without any further waiting period.

Fill out a Claim (Form 3), which you can get from the Registry or over the Internet, and lodge it with the Registry. You will need four copies of the Claim.

Information required on claim form

The person who is making the claim is called the plaintiff. The person against whom the claim is being made is called the defendant. The names and addresses of both of the parties must be filled in and at the bottom of the form under the heading 'particulars of claim' details of what the claim is about must be included. These particulars should include the date on which the matter took place and the basis on which the claim is made (this is called the 'cause of action'). If there is insufficient room at the bottom of the form separate pages can be attached to the form setting out the particulars of claim.

Where the defendant is a company

If the defendant is a company the address which should be put on the form is the address of the registered office. This can be obtained by searching the records at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (www.asic.gov.au). If the defendant is using a business name the claim should be issued against the proprietors of the business at the time the claim arose. Their names can be obtained by searching the Business Name Registration records at ASIC Connect.

What documents to provide

If the claim is for property damage, such as the cost of repairs to a car following a car accident, a copy of the repair quote or other documents to prove the amount of the claim should be attached.

Four copies of the claim form and any attachments will be needed. One copy is kept by the court for its file, one is served on the defendant, one is returned to the court with a proof of service completed on the back of the claim and one is given back to the plaintiff. If there is more than one defendant an extra two copies will be needed for each extra defendant.

Starting minor civil claims proceedings  :  Last Revised: Fri Feb 22nd 2013
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