​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Settling the case - Frequently Asked Questions ​


1. What does 'Settling' the case mean?​​

'Settling' the case means that the parties have reached an agreement to finalise the case without the court hearing evidence and making a decision.

The plaintiff and the defendant may agree that the defendant will pay the whole or part of the debt, or agree that the plaintiff no longer seeks payment of the debt. The plaintiff and defendant can also agree on payment by instalments.

Alert Icon  The parties need to tell the court about any settlement agreement. Usually, the parties will hand up written Terms of Settlement at court or file a Consent Judgment. For more information, see Settling the case.

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2. Do I have to settle the case​​​ or can I​​ get my day in court?

No, you don't have to settle the case before the hearing date but you may find that there are benefits from settling a case without a hearing in court.

Some of the benefits of settling a case include:

  • not taking time off work to attend a hearing
  • not spending a lot of time preparing your court forms, witness statements and evidence
  • keeping a good relationship with the other party
  • being more satisfied with a result which you were directly involved in
  • removing the risk of losing the case and having to pay the other party's costs.


3. I tried to settle the case but the​ other party wasn't interested. What can I do?

You cannot make the other party negotiate or settle a case.

If talking to the other party did not work you can try writing to them. You should put the words 'Without Prejudice' on the top of the letter or email if you don't want your negotiations used as evidence in court.

In the letter, you can tell the other party about the benefits that may come from settling the case, such as saving time and money by not going to court.

Hint icon  You could contact Community Justice Centres (CJC) for help. CJC provides free mediation services. For more information, see Mediation.

You will also get a chance to negotiate at the Pre Trial Review, where the registrar should try to help the parties settle the case.

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4. I have been given an Offer of ​​Compromise by the other party. What should I do?

An Offer of Compromise is a formal written offer to settle the case that is used in the General Division of the Local Court. Under the court rules, 'Offers of Compromise' cannot be used in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court.

If you receive an Offer of Compromise letter, you should get legal advice about how to respond.

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5. The other party has sent me​ a ​'Calderbank' letter. What should I do?

A 'Calderbank' letter is another kind of letter that can be used to reach settlement in a case.

If you receive a 'Calderbank' letter, you should get legal advice about how to respond.

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6. When can the plaintiff discontinue​​ a case?

The plaintiff can discontinue the case at any time either with the consent of the defendant or the leave (permission) of the court before the court makes judgment.

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7. If I discontinue the case, will I have ​​to pay the defendant's legal costs?

Payment of costs will depend on the agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant and the reason for discontinuing the case.

The plaintiff and defendant may need to get legal advice about this.

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8. What happens if there is a consent​​ judgment and the defendant doesn't pay the money?

A consent judgment is just as enforceable as a court judgment. If the defendant does not pay the judgment debt, the plaintiff can take action through the court to enforce the consent judgment. However, the court cannot enforce anything other than an agreement to pay a fixed amount of money. For example, the court cannot enforce a promise to fix unsatisfactory work or replace faulty goods.

For more information, see Enforcing a judgment debt.

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9. What if the defendant won't sign the​​ consent judgment?

Consent judgment can't be made without both parties signing to show that they agree.


10. Can the court decide not to accept​ the consent judgment?

The court has the power to decide if it will allow a consent judgment to be made.

Sometimes the court will decide not to accept the consent judgment because:

  • the terms of the consent judgment are outside the jurisdiction (power) of the court
  • the consent judgment affects other parties who have not consented to the judgment
  • the court believes that the terms are unfair or unreasonable.

An example of a term that is unlikely to be accepted is: "The uncle of the defendant will pay half of the amount owed to the plaintiff".

You should get legal advice if the court rejects the terms of your consent judgment.