​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 |

Starting a case

If you want to make a claim in the Local ​Court against someone for money or g​oods you will need to:

​​​In the Statement of Claim, you are called the 'plaintiff' and the other person is called the 'defendant'.


Alert IconBefore you decide if you want to start a court case, you should consider the strength of your claim by getting legal advice. If you lose the court case and the defendant has a solicitor or barrister appearing for them, you may have to pay some of their legal costs. For more information, see:

You can make a claim against more than one defendant.

For example, you may be making a claim against

  • both a company and the directors of a company
  • against both members of a couple
  • against an employee and their employer.

You should get legal advice if you are not sure who should be the defendant in your claim.

Alert IconThe time limit for making a claim in the Local Court for money or to recover goods is six years. Depending on the type of case you have, you start counting the time from:

  • the date the debt should have been paid,
  • when the debt was last acknowledged in writing,
  • when a repayment was made
  • the date of the car accident
  • when you demanded that the goods be returned.

For more information on time limits for getting goods back, see Time limits in the 'Recovery of goods' topic of this website.

You should get legal advice if you think you may be outside the time limit.

Step-by-step guide icon Completing the Statement of Claim - Step by step guide

Step 1: Get a Statement of Claim form

You will need one form:

  • Form 3B - Statement of Claim

You can get copies of forms from:​

Hint iconIf you are represented by a lawyer, you would use a Form 3A - Statement of Claim instead of a Form 3B. 

Step 2: Fill out and sign the Statement of Claim form

You can fill out the Statement of Claim form in neat handwriting in blue or black pen. You can also fill it out on your computer screen. For instructions on how to do this, go to the Guide to Completing Approved Forms. 

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

  • the first name and family name of an individual defendant
  • the full name and Australian Company Number (ACN) for a company defendant
  • the full name of an incorporated association or unincorporated association for an association defendant
  • the business trading name for a business defendant
  • a street address for the defendant (not a post office box)
  • dates and events relevant to the debt or car accident
  • the address of the court where you are going to file your Statement of Claim.

Alert Icon You must have the correct address for the defendant so that you can serve them with the Statement of Claim. The defendant needs to receive the Statement of Cl​aim and if you don't have their current address, you may not be able to properly serve the defendant and you may not be able to recover the money they owe you.

If you are claiming a debt you will also need the amount of the debt you are claiming.

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.

You will also need the amounts you are claiming for interest, filing and service fees. For further information, see Interest, filing and service fees.

Claiming a debt

Instructions: For help completing the form, see Instructions for filling out a Statement of Claim.

Sample: For a sample form, see

Claiming after a car accident

Instructions: For help completing the form, see

Sample: For a sample form, see

Claiming recovery of goods

Instructions: For help completing the form, see

Sample: For a sample form, see

When you have finished filling out the Statement of Claim form, you need to sign it. If you are signing the Statement of Claim 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'.

You will need to make copies of your signed Statement of Claim form. The original, signed copy of the Statement of Claim will be kept by the court. You will need to make one photocopy for each of the defendants and one copy for yourself. Therefore, if there is one defendant, you will need to make two copies. You then need to take or post the original, signed copy of the Statement of Claim and the copies to the appropriate Local Court.

Step 3: File the Statement of Claim form at a Local Court and pay the filing fee

The most appropriate Local Court to file your Statement of Claim will be the court

  • closest to where you live, or
  • closest to where the defendant lives, or
  • closest to where your claim is connected. For example, where you made the loan agreement, where the goods are held, where the car accident happened, or where you provided the services.

Alert IconIt is very important that you make your claim against the right person or business and that you use the right name for them. You will waste both time and money if you don't make the claim against the right person or business as your claim may be dismissed or judgment might not be enforceable.

For further information, see Finding and naming the right defendant.

When you file the Statement of Claim and the copies, the court staff will stamp, date and put a file number on the documents. A document with a court stamp is a 'sealed copy'. The court will keep the original Statement of Claim and return the stamped copies to you. One of the stamped copies is for you; the other stamped copies are to serve on the defendant or defendants.

When you file your Statement of Claim, you will have to pay the filing fee. If you are starting your claim as an individual, the filing fee is $97.00 (as at 1 July 2016). If you are starting the claim as a representative of a company or association, the filing fee is $194.00 (as at 1 July 2016). Check the list of current court fees on the Local C​ourt website. You can pay by cash, credit card, EFTPOS or cheque. If you are paying by cheque it should be made payable to the name of the court. For example, Blacktown Local Court.

Step 4: Serving the Statement of Claim

'Serving' the Statement of Claim means giving or sending a sealed copy of the Statement of Claim to the defendant. There are rules about how to properly serve the Statement of Claim. For more information, see Serving the Statement of Claim.

You or the person who serves the Statement of Claim should complete an Affidavit of Service.

Debt and goods

Instructions: For help completing the form, see Instructions for filling out an Affidavit of Service.

Sample: For a sample form, see

Car accidents

Instructions: for help completing the form, see Instructions for filling out an Affidavit of Service - car accidents.

Sample: For a sample form, see

Alert Icon For more information, see

Picture man filing documents at court
 

Interactive Guides. Check out the interactive guide on this topic