The plaintiff will have to pay a fee to start a case in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court. This is $97.00 for an individual and $194.00 for a corporation (as at 1 July 2016). Check the list of current court fees on the
Local Courts website. Unless the plaintiff serves the Statement of Claim themselves, they will also have to pay a service fee to get someone else to do it.
The plaintiff can claim these costs back from you in their Statement of Claim. The maximum they can claim back for a service fee is $65.00 (as at 1 July 2016).
You will not usually be entitled to professional costs if you are representing yourself.
If the plaintiff is represented by a lawyer, and you lose the case, you will probably have to pay costs. If you are represented by a lawyer, and you win your case, the court will probably order that the plaintiff pay your costs.
In the Small Claims Division of the Local Court there is a limit on the amount of lawyer's costs you can be awarded or ordered to pay, at the end of a hearing for a fixed or specific claim of money (called a liquidated claim). As at July 2014, these costs (including GST) are:
Amount of Claim
Costs can also be awarded against a party if they do anything that causes a delay.
If you think you may need to ask the court to adjourn your case or delay it in some other way, you should get
If you lose your case and get a judgment against you, it can cost the plaintiff money to enforce that judgment. There are fees to pay when a plaintiff tries to enforce a judgment. These fees are added to any amount you have to pay to the plaintiff.
For more information on responding to enforcement action by the plaintiff and the costs involved, see
Responding to enforcement.