​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 |

Being chased for goods - Frequently Asked Questions ​

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1. My friend left his TV with me when​ he went overseas. He is now back from overseas and wants his TV. Do I have to give it back?

Your friend may be able to get his TV back. Whether he can get the TV back will depend on:

  • who owns the TV
  • when he left the TV with you
  • how long you have had the TV, and
  • when the TV should have been returned.

For more information, see Disputes about goods and Being chased for goods.

 You could try negotiate to arrange mediation with your friend. For more information, see Talk to the other person

Your friend can start a case in the Local Court to try and get his TV back. The court may make an order that you return the TV or pay for the value of the TV. If you receive a Statement of Claim, you have 28 days to respond. You should get legal advice.

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2. My daughter moved out of our home​​ and left some books behind. She wants her books back but I don't have them anymore. What can I do? 

You should try talking to your daughter about the situation. You can try free mediation through a Community Justice Centre (CJC). If you're finding it hard to talk to your daughter you can send her a letter explaining why you no longer have the books.

For more information, see Talk to the other person and Send a letter.

If your daughter starts a court case against you, and you no longer have the books, she can ask for money equal to the value of the books. If she wins the case, the court will decide how much the books are worth based on any evidence provided, and how much you should pay to your daughter.

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3. I work as a mechanic and repair cars​​​. One of my customers refuses to pay for the repairs. Can I keep his car until he pays me the money?

In some situations, a person has a legal right to keep goods until a debt is paid to them. This is called a 'lien.' As a mechanic, you may usually exercise (claim) a lien on the car until the person pays you for the repairs. You should get legal advice if you want to keep the car.

If the customer serves you with a Statement of Claim for recovery of the car, you may have a defence. For more information, see Responding to a Statement of Claim.

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4. My sister and I bought a car together​​ but the car was only registered in my name. I took the car with me when I moved out of our parent's home. Now she wants the car back. Do I have to give her the car?

If your sister wants the car back, she needs to prove that she is the owner of the car. You need to consider what evidence you have about who owns the car, for example, the registration documents, the receipt, bank statements and evidence of what you and your sister agreed to when the car was purchased. Even if the car is only registered in your name, it may belong to both of you. 

For more information, see Ownership of goods.

If there is a dispute about who owns the car, you should get legal advice.

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5. A person I work with has served me​​ with a Statement of Claim to get some floor tiles back that I used when renovating my bathroom. I filed a defence and received a notice from the court saying I have to go to a Pre Trial Review. What does this mean?

A Pre Trial Review is the first court date in a case in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court. At the Pre Trial Review you and the plaintiff can discuss the case and try to reach a settlement. If you can't the court will give you a date for a hearing and a date when you and the plaintiff will have to file and exchange witness statements and evidence.

For more information, see Defended cases.

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6. I applied to set aside default ​​​judgment, but the registrar rejected my application because I didn't explain what my defence was. What can I do?

If you are unhappy with the decision of a registrar, you can apply for a review.

Alert icon  You have 28 days to apply for the review of a registrar's decision.

For more information, see Appeals and reviews.


7. If I defend a case, and I lose, will I ​​have to pay the plaintiff's legal costs?

If you lose a case in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court, you will usually have to pay some costs. Such costs can include:

  • legal costs if the plaintiff has a lawyer
  • filing fee
  • service fee.

You may have to pay these costs even if you don't defend the case, though the amount of legal costs may be lower.

For more information, see Legal costs

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8. The sheriff called me and said that​​​​ they had a Writ for the Delivery of Goods for a dog a friend left with me ages ago. What does this mean?

A Writ for the Delivery of Goods is a court order allowing the sheriff to seize specified goods and return them to the plaintiff. If there is a Writ for the Delivery of Goods this means that the court entered judgment against you for the detention of the dog.

Alert icon  If you have been told that there is a Writ for the Delivery of Goods allowing the sheriff to seize goods from you, you should get legal advice.  

For more information, see Responding to a Writ for the Delivery of Goods in the 'Debt - small claims' topic of this website. ​