​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 |

​Resolving your dispute

It is a good idea to try to resolve a dispute without going to court, as court cases take time and cost money. You can try to resolve your dispute by negotiating​ directly with the other party. If you need help, you could arrange for an independent person to assist you both through a process called 'mediation'. If you reach an agreement, you should put it in writing.

Why settle before going to court?

If you settle your case you will not have to go to court. Here are some benefits:

Time

It can take months for your matter to be finalised at court. You will also have to make time to prepare for and attend court.

Money ​

If you start a case at court and you lose, the court will usually order you to pay the costs of the other party. These are called 'professional costs' or 'legal costs'. Likewise, if you choose to defend a case at court and you lose, the court will usually order you to pay legal costs.

Even if you win the case and the court orders the other party to pay your costs, this might not cover all of your expenses. For example, you usually won't be able to claim back wages you lost because you had to attend court and couldn't work.

For more information see Legal costs in the Representing Yourself section of this website.

Stress

Going to court can be stressful, especially if you don't have a lawyer to sort out the paperwork and do the talking in court. Before going to court, it is a good idea to think about the impact that a court case will have on you personally and whether it is worth the stress.

Uncertainty

If you go to court, a magistrate or assessor will make a decision based on the evidence that is presented. The magistrate or assessor will exercise their judgment when applying the law to the facts, and weighing up the evidence. If you and the other party can reach an agreement without going to court, there is less uncertainty about what the outcome will be.

For more information, see:

AlertIf there is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against you protecting the other party or anyone they have a domestic relationship with, you should get legal advice​ before contacting them. You may be breaching the AVO if you contact them.

AlertA court case to recover goods must generally be started within six years from when the return of the goods was first demanded. For more information on time limits, see Going to court

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