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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

Going to the Local Court - Step by step guide    

The following steps will help you if you want to make an application for a Fencing Order at the Local Court.

Alert IconBefore you apply for a Fencing Order, you must serve your neighbour with a Fencing Notice and then wait one month. For more information, see Fencing Notices.

Step-by-step guide icon  Going to the Local Court - Step by step guide

​Step 1: Get an appli​​​​cation form

You can get copies of the application form from:

Step 2: Fill in the ap​plication form

When you fill out the application form you should include:

  • your name and address
  • the name and address of the owner of the neighbouring property
  • a description of your property and your neighbour's property, including title references
  • the orders that you want the court to make about the fencing work (for example, the removal of an old fence, erection of a new fence, repairs to be made to an existing fence, what you would like any new fence to be made of, the height and location of the fence, and how the cost of the work should be split)
  • the date that you served your Fencing Notice
  • any other information you think is relevant to your application
  • if you could not find the owner, that you want an order made without them being there (in their absence), and what steps you took to find them.

For instructions on how to fill out the application form, see Instructions on filling out an Application to the Local Court.

For an example of what a completed application might look like, see Sample Application to the Local Court.

When you have finished filling out the form, you need to sign and date it.

Hint iconYou should make a copy of the completed form and keep it for your records.

Step 3: Attach your Fencing Notice

You should attach a copy of the Fencing Notice to your application.

Alert IconIf it was not possible to serve a Fencing Notice on your neighbour, you may still be able to apply for a Fencing Order. When you fill out the application form, you should explain the steps you took to find and contact your neighbour. For more information on what you can do to find your neighbour, see Finding your neighbour.

You do not need to send or attach a Fencing Notice if you are:

  • claiming half the costs for fencing work that was urgent and done without a Fencing Notice being served.
  • challenging a claim for half the costs for urgent fencing work.

However, you will need to attach other information to support your application. For example, if you believe that urgent fencing work was necessary and that your neighbour should contribute to the costs, you should attach information explaining what happened and why the work was urgent. For more information, see Urgent fencing work.

Step 4: File the a​pplication form at the Local Court

When you have completed the form, you need to file it at the Local Court nearest to you.

Handy hint iconYou will need to pay a filing fee of $91.00 (as at 1 July 2016). Check the list of current court fees on the Local Courts website.

Take the original and three copies. The court will stamp all the copies and keep the original. You will then have one copy to serve on your neighbour, one to keep for your records and a spare. ​

Step 5: Serve your app​lication

You must serve the application on your neighbour. You can do this by:

  • giving a filed copy to your neighbour in person, or
  • arranging for the sheriff at the court to serve the application. This will cost you $64.00 (as at July 2016), or
  • arranging for a private process server to serve the application.

Step 6: Prepare for the mention

The Local Court will write the time and day that you need to be in court on the filed application. This will tell you and your neighbour the date and time the case is listed for 'mention' (the first court date) and which court you have to attend. For more information, see The mention.

Hint icon​If you need an interpreter, you should tell the court as soon as possible so that one can be arranged for the mention. The court will pay for the interpreter.

For answers to commonly asked questions, see ​​Frequently Asked Questions​.​