This page contains only general information about time limits. If you want information about:
If someone wants to start a court case to claim goods back they have six years to do so. The time will usually start from when one party first demanded the return of the goods from another. The time limit can be extended if the court is convinced there is a good reason to do so.
You should get legal advice if:
The person who starts the claim is called the 'plaintiff'. The person who has to respond to the claim is called the 'defendant'.
For more information about:
Once a Statement of Claim has been filed with the Local Court, the plaintiff has six months to serve it on the defendant. If they don't serve it within that time, the Statement of Claim is considered 'stale' and the plaintiff will have to file a new Statement of Claim.
If the plaintiff has served a Statement of Claim on the defendant, the defendant has 28 days from the date of service to file a defence.
If you need to file a defence but it has been more than 28 days since you received the Statement of Claim, you should get
If a judgment is made in favour of the plaintiff they can then take steps to enforce the order to return the goods or pay an amount of money. There is a 12 year time limit to enforce a judgment.
A judgment is a court order that the defendant has to pay money or return goods to the plaintiff.
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
Disputes about goods - Frequently Asked Questions.