​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 |

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Letters to unrepresented parties

If you have a dispute with someone, and you want to speak to them or demand that they do something, you could write them a letter. If your case goes to court, you may need to use the letter as evidence.

This page is a guide to writing to a party that is representing themselves, just like you. If the person you are in dispute with is represented by a lawyer, you should not contact them directly. Instead, you should write to their lawyer. For more information, see Letters to lawyers.

You may want to write to the unrepresented party because they owe you money, or you need to serve (formally give) some court documents by post.

Hint icon For a helpful tool to use when writing a letter to an unrepresented party, see Checklist: Writing letters.

Alert Icon Whenever you write to other parties or their lawyers, you should make sure to only include things that you may want to rely on in court. If you want to offer to settle the matter, you can write the words 'Without Prejudice' on your letters. This means the letters sent by you usually can't be used as evidence in court. Before sending the letter, you should get legal advice.

Your letter should include: 

    ​Your add​​ress, the other party's address and the date

    When you write a letter, your name and address should be at the top of the page, on the right hand side. Underneath that, on the left hand side, you should write the date, and the name and address of the person or business you are writing to.

    Hint icon Always include the date you are signing/sending the letter. A date is important because:

    • it can help you prove when you sent the letter
    • a date can be used to identify the document. For example, if you call the party about your letter you can ask them if they have received your letter 'dated 10 January 2011'.

    For example:

    John Smith 
    23 West Stree
    WESTOWN NSW 2999 
    Ph: 0499 111 111


    19 November 201
    1 

    Ms Paula Brown
     
    Paula's Hair Design 
    Shop 3, 1034 George Street
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    Heading​

    Any letter you write should include a heading. The heading should state all the names of the parties, the court the case is in and the case number, (if the case is in court), or other details to identify the matter, (if a court case has not been started). For example:

    • John Smith v Paula Brown. Parramatta Local Court, Case number 2011/000111222
    • John Smith and Paula Brown, Payment for shop fitting work done at Paula's Hair Design, 12 April 2011.

    For example:​

    John Smith
    23 West Street
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    Ph: 0499 111 111

    19 November 2011

    Ms Paula Brown
    Paula's Hair Design
    Shop 3, 1034 George Street
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    Dear Madam,

    John Smith and Paula Brown trading as Paula's Hair Design 
    Payment for shop fitting work done at Paula's Hair Design

    A reference to any relevant previous letters

    If there has been a previous letter from the person you are writing to and you are replying to that, you should say this in the next line.

    For example:

    John Smith
    23 West Street
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    Ph: 0499 111 111​

    ​1
    9 November 2011

    Ms Paula Brown
    Paula's Hair Design
    Shop 3, 1034 George Street
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    Dear Madam,

    John Smith and Paula Brown trading as Paula's Hair Design
    Payment for shop fitting work done at Paula's Hair Design

    I refer to your letter dated 10 November 2011.

    ​If you have written to the unrepresented party previously and received no reply, you could instead refer to your last letter.

    What you want to say to the unrepres​​ented party

    When you write a letter to someone you should clearly state what the letter is about. If you are:

    • responding to a question, clearly state what question you are answering and what the answer is
    • demanding payment, be clear why you think the money is owed, how much is owed, and when you expect it to be paid
    • asking for information, make sure you clearly set out what you want
    • serving documents, refer to them in the letter and enclose them with the letter.

    For example:

    John Smith
    23 West Street
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    Ph: 0499 111 111

    ​​​19 November 2011

    Ms Paula Brown
    Paula's Hair Design
    Shop 3, 1034 George Street
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    Dear Madam,

    John Smith and Paula Brown trading as Paula's Hair
    Design Payment for shop fitting work done at Paula's Hair Design

    I refer to my letter dated 10 November 2011 and the shop fitting work that I performed on your ​business 
    premises at Shop 3, 1034 George Street, Parramatta, on 3 and 4 October 2011. You have not paid my invoice dated 15 October 2011, for $3233.00. I enclose a copy of my invoice. Payment of the invoice was due on 1 November 2011.

    Please pay the full amount of $3233.00 by 5pm on 3 December 2011. If you fail to pay I will instruct a solicitor to begin legal proceedings against you on my behalf, and you may become liable for legal costs and expenses, as well as interest.

    ​I look forward to hearing form you
    .​

    Your signature and relevant documents

    When you have completed the letter, you can write "Yours faithfully", leave two or three spaces, write your name and then sign in between "Yours faithfully" and your name.

    If you are sending any documents, cheques or any other items, these are called 'enclosures'. You should describe what you are enclosing in the text of your letter (as in the example above). You should also add the letters "encl" underneath your name. This reminds the person receiving the letter that you sent something with it.

    For example:

    John Smith
    23 West Street
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    Ph: 0499 111 111
    ​19 November 2011

    Ms Paula Brown
    Paula's Hair Design
    Shop 3, 1034 George Street
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    D
    ear Madam,

    John Smith and Paula Brown trading as Paula's Hair Design
    Payment for shop fitting work done at Paula's Hair Design

    I refer to my letter dated 10 November 2011 and the shop fitting
    work that I performed on your business premises at Shop 3, 1034 George Street, Parramatta, on 3 and 4 October 2011, as agreed by you. I note that my invoice dated 15 October 2011, for $3233.00, remains unpaid. I enclose a copy of that invoice for your information. You will note that payment of the invoice was due on 1 November 2011.

    Please pay the full amount of $3233.00 by no later than 5pm on 3 December 2011. If you fail to pay I will instruct a solicitor to begin legal proceedings against you on my behalf, and you may become liable for legal costs and expenses, as well as interest.

    I
    look forward to your reply.

    Yours sincerely

    J. Smith

    John Smith
    encl​

    Hint icon Make sure you include a telephone number in any letter you write so that the person you send the letter to can contact you if they need to. You could also include your email address, if you have one.

    Hint icon Make sure you keep a copy of the letter and a record of when you posted it. You could use registered post so that there is a record of when the person you sent the letter received it.