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Completing a statement of claim 

If you want to start a court case to get your mon​ey or goods back, you w​ill need to fill out​ a statement of claim form and file it in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court. To fi​nd out how to do this, follow the steps in the guide o​​n this page.

AlertBefore deciding if you want to start a​ court case, you should get legal advice about the strength of your claim. 

AlertYou have six years to start court proceedings to recover money or goods. If you are not sure when your time limit starts from, get legal advice​.

Icon: Page with numbered list  Completing a statement of claim - Step by s​tep guide

​Step 1: Get ​​the form​

You need one form: ​

  • Form 3B – Statement of claim.

You can get copies of the form from:

You can also complete and file this form online using the NSW Online Registry​.  

Step 2: Fill out the form

You can fill out your form:

  • ​by completing it on your computer
  • by printing the form and completing it in blue or black pen, or
  • online using the NSW Online Registry​.

In the statement of claim form, you are called the 'plaintiff' and the other party is called the 'defendant'.

To fill in the form you should have the following information ready:

  • ​​​​the defendant's name  
  • the correct street address for the defendant (not a post office box)
  • dates and events for your claim
  • the details of what you are claiming including the amount of money claimed
  • if you are claiming goods, you need a list and description of the goods. If you are claiming the value of goods you need to have worked out what the goods are worth 
  • the address of the court where you are going to file your statement of claim. 

AlertIt is very important that you make your claim against the right person or business, that you use the right name and you have the correct address. You will waste time and money if you make the claim against the wrong person or business as your claim may be dismissed or the judgment might not be enforceable. For further information, see Finding and naming the defendant​. 

You can also claim interest if the amount of your claim is $1,000 or more. For information on interest, see Working out inte​rest.

Once you have completed the details in the form, you will need to sign the form. If you are signing the statement of claim form for a company or other organisation, you will also need to write down why you are allowed to sign on the company's behalf. For example, you may be the 'Director' or 'Authorised Officer' of the company. 

Instructions and ​​sa​mples 

Debt

​Recovery of goods

Car accidents​

Interstate service​

Step 3: File the form 

The next step is to file the form at your nearest Local Court.

You can file the form:

  • by taking it to the court or
  • by post.

You will need to file the original statement of claim plus one copy. The court will keep the original and will give you back the stamped copy. You will need to make one copy for each of the defendants and a copy for yourself. 

You can also complete and file these forms online using the NSW Online R​egistry

If you are nearly out of time to start a case it is a good idea to file your statement of claim in person or online to avoid the possibility of your form getting lost in the post.

Pay the filing fee

You will need to pay a filing fee. The filing fees are (as at July 2017):

  • ​​for an individual - $99.00
  • for a corporation (company) with a turnover of less than $200,000 per year - $99.00. You will need to fill out a separate form and provide evidence about the turnover. You can get this form from the court registry.
  • for a corporation with a turnover of more than $200,000 per year - $198.00.

If you want the court to serve the statement of claim on the defendant, you will need to pay an additional fee at the time of filing the form.

You can check the list of current court fees on the Local​ Courts website. 

You can pay by cash, credit card, EFTPOS or cheque. If you are paying by cheque it should be made payable to NSW Local Courts. 

If you can't afford the filing fee

If you can't afford the filing fee you can ask the court to:

  • ​​​​waive it, which means you don't have to pay it
  • postpone it, which means you may have to pay it at a later date.

If you want to ask the court to postpone or waive the filing fee you will need to fill in an Applica​tion to p​ostpone, waive or remit fees​.

You should attach copies of documents that support your application, such as Centrelink letters, payslips, bank statements, tax returns and evidence of debts you owe. You can take or ​mail the application form with attachments to the court when you file your statement of claim. 

The court will 'seal' the form

The court staff will stamp, date and put a file number on the statement of cla​im form and the copy. A document with a court stamp is called a 'sealed copy'.

The court will keep the original and return the sealed copy to you. 

Step 4: Serve the form 

Once you have filed the statement of claim, it needs to be served on the defendant. 'Serving' the statement of claim form means giving or sending a sealed copy of the form to the defendant. There are rules about how to properly serve the statement of claim.

For more information, see Serving the statement of claim - Step by step guide.