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This section has information about what happens after a decision has been made about the case at court.
If the plaintiff lost their case, you will not have to pay their claim. The court may have ordered them to pay your legal costs. For more information see Legal Costs. The plaintiff has the option of appealing the decision, although this is not common. If the plaintiff appeals, you should get legal advice.
If the plaintiff won their case, there will be a judgment against you. There may be a judgment against you if you acknowledged the plaintiff's claim, did nothing to defend the claim, settled the case in their favour or lost the case after a hearing. You are called the judgment debtor, and the plaintiff is called the judgment creditor.
If you are not happy with the decision of the registrar, magistrate or assessor, you may be able to:
An application for a review or an appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision.
For more information, see Appeals and reviews.
If you lost the case, there will be a judgment against you. The judgment is a court order that you have to:
If the judgment is about money, you can try negotiating with the plaintiff about:
If the judgment is about goods, you can try negotiating with the plaintiff about:
payment of money instead of returning the goods.
For more information, see Negotiating after the judgment.
If you lost the case, you may also have been ordered to pay the plaintiff for filing and service fees, professional costs if the plaintiff had a lawyer and interest, if the claim was more than $1,000.
If there is a judgment against you, you can:
apply to the court to pay by instalments.
For more information, see Paying the judgment.
If the case was about recovery of goods and you lost, you may have been ordered to pay the plaintiff filing and service fees, and professional costs if the plaintiff had a lawyer. You will need to return the goods immediately or by the date stated in the judgment, and pay the fees and costs to the plaintiff.
If you do not return the goods, or pay the fees and costs, the plaintiff can take enforcement action against you. For more information, see If you don't pay.
If there is a judgment against you and you do nothing, the plaintiff may take action to try and make you pay the money or return their goods. This is called enforcement.
There are steps you can take to respond to enforcement action:
For more information, see If you don't pay.
If there is a default judgment against you because you did not respond to the statement of claim, you may be able to apply to set aside the judgment. For more information, see Setting aside a default judgment.