The staff at the Local Court registry can provide information on Local Court forms and procedures. However, they cannot:
Most full-time local court registries have a registrar or deputy registrar who can provide information, assistance and guidance to members of the public on local court procedures. This is called the chamber service. Check the contact details for
Local Courts in NSW.
The chamber service can help you complete an Acknowledgment of Liquidated Claim or respond to a Statement of Claim by completing a Defence, if your case is a simple one.
It is important that your Defence is filled out correctly. You should try to get your Defence checked by a lawyer before you file it. For more information, see
Need more help?
You should contact the court where the Statement of Claim was issued to get information on how to respond to the Statement of Claim. You should do this as soon as possible after being served with the Statement of Claim - beware that there might be time limits for responding.
You can also contact LawAccess for a referral for legal assistance in the state where the Statement of Claim was issued.
Yes, as long as default judgment has not been entered. You should contact the court where the Statement of Claim was filed immediately and ask whether default judgment has been entered against you.
If judgment has been entered against you, you can make an application to set aside the default judgment. For more information, see
Applying to set aside default judgment.
If court staff inform you that judgment has not been entered against you, you should contact the creditor or their solicitor. You can tell them that you will be filing a Defence within a number of days. You should also ask that they not apply for default judgment during this time. You should then immediately attend to filing your Defence. You can also write to the court and tell them that you have contacted the plaintiff and that you will be filing a Defence.
You can write to the creditor and ask for more information about the debt, such as copies of contracts, statements, invoices and letters. This is called a 'request for further and better particulars'. For more information, see
Further and better particulars - after being served with a Statement of Claim and
Sample letter asking for further and better particulars after receiving a Statement of Claim.
If you still don't understand the claim, you should get
If you are bankrupt (bankruptcy usually lasts for three years) you should contact your Trustee immediately.
If your company is in receivership, the creditor can still make a claim against the company in the Local Court. However, if your company is in administration or liquidation they cannot start or continue a court claim against your company unless they get permission from the Supreme Court. This is a costly process and if this happens you should get
If the creditor files a claim in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court, the length of the case depends on whether you choose to defend the claim. If you defend the claim, it is likely to take between 3 and 6 months to finalise the case. If you don't file a Defence within 28 days of being served with the Statement of Claim, the creditor can apply for a default judgment against you on the 29th day.
No, people representing themselves cannot file any Local Court documents by email. (Lawyers can register with the court to file documents electronically.)