Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
After both you and the defendant have presented your case at the hearing, the magistrate or assessor will make a decision. Usually the decision is made on the same day as the hearing.
Sometimes the decision of the magistrate or assessor is 'reserved'. This means that the magistrate or assessor needs some more time to consider all the evidence. The decision will be postponed to another day and the court will contact you when the decision has been made.
If you win, the court has made a judgment in your favour.
If your claim is for money, the amount of money you are owed is called the judgment debt. You are now called the judgment creditor and the defendant becomes the judgment debtor.
The court will order the other party to pay you the money or return the goods you claimed as well as any interest, filing and service fees you have claimed. The judgment takes effect immediately when it is made. Sometimes, the court can set a date for when money should be paid or when goods should be returned.
If the other party does not pay all of the judgment debt within 28 days of the date of the judgment, you can claim interest on the unpaid amount of the judgment debt until it is paid. This is called 'post judgment interest'.
If the other party does not pay the judgment or return goods, you can take steps to force them to follow the judgment. This is called enforcement. For more information, see Enforcement.
If you lose the case, do not argue with the magistrate or assessor.
An order may be made that you have to pay the other party's legal costs.
If you want to appeal the decision, you should get legal advice. An appeal must be filed within 28 days of the date of the decision.
For more information, see Appeals and reviews.