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This dictionary provides meanings of many of the legal words and phrases used on the Representing Yourself website.
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The dictionary is divided into two parts:
Word or phrase
A number, with 11 digits, that the Australian Taxation Office gives to a business.
An application to a NSW State Government department requesting information held by the department, or information about the department. This application is made under the
Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
A person who has been arrested and charged by the police with a criminal offence.
A court form filed by a person who admits that they owe the money being claimed against them in court.
A registration number, with 9 digits, that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission gives to a company.
A finding that an accused person is not guilty of a criminal offence.
Laws made by Parliament are called Acts. The Federal Parliament in Canberra makes laws that affect the whole of Australia. For example, the
Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The NSW Parliament makes laws that affect NSW. For example, the
Adoption Act 2000 (NSW).
Optional orders that may be included in an application for an AVO in addition to the mandatory (or standard) orders. These orders deal with issues such as restricting contact with the protected person(s).
After a court case starts, all the people involved in the case need to have an address where they want letters and court documents to be delivered to them by post and by hand.
Properties located next to one another.
Postponing a court hearing or other court appearance to another date or time.
An administrator is the person who is granted letters of administration after someone has died without leaving a will. The administrator has legal authority to distribute the deceased person's estate.
The court has rules about what kind of evidence it will accept in a court case. Evidence the court decides to accept is called 'admissible evidence'.
A confession or a statement acknowledging the truth of something.
A document that sets out your wishes about your future medical treatment if you become injured or seriously ill and lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.
Also known as a living will.
Unlawful action taken by an employer against an employee because they have a workplace right or have used, or tried to use, a workplace right. Adverse action includes:
Apprehended Domestic Violence Order
Individuals from organisations registered with Revenue NSW to speak to Revenue NSW on behalf of a client to discuss their options to deal with a fine. Advocates include employees from organisations like Legal Aid NSW, Community Legal Centres and Financial Counsellors Association of NSW.
A written statement prepared by a person. The statement must be sworn or affirmed to be true in front of a solicitor, barrister or justice of the peace.
A written statement of a person who has served a court document. It tells the court:
The person must swear or affirm that the statement is true and sign it in front of a solicitor, barrister or justice of the peace.
To solemnly promise to tell the truth in court or in an affidavit.
An affirmation is made instead of a religious oath.
A relationship between two people where one person (the 'agent') agrees to do something on behalf of the other person (the 'principal'). For example, Sally gave her friend, Nico, the keys to her car and asked Nico to drive to the shops and pick up her dry cleaning. There is an agency relationship between Nico and Sally.
Any relevant facts that make the offence more serious.
A court ordered penalty for people who commit drink driving offences. It involves an electronic breath-testing device being connected to the ignition of a vehicle. The vehicle will not start unless the driver passes a breath test.
A claim made by one party (such as the police) about something that has or has not been done. This claim needs to be proved in court.
An extra payment an employee may receive for using their own equipment or working in dangerous or dirty conditions.
A way of resolving a case without having a court hearing. Most types of Alternative Dispute Resolution use a third person, who is not involved in the case, to help the parties come to an agreement. The most common type of Alternative Dispute Resolution is mediation.
To make changes to a document that has already been filed at court. The amended document is then filed and served on the other party.
A document referred to in an affidavit that is attached to the affidavit.
Paid time off work that an employee is entitled to every year.
To cancel or make invalid.
The Anti Discrimination Board protects against discrimination in NSW. It investigates complaints about discrimination in NSW.
To apply to a higher court asking that the decision of a lower court be changed or cancelled.
When a party goes to court for a case.
A person who appeals against a decision.
The person making an application.
The person who makes an application for an AVO. This will usually be the police or the protected person, who is also sometimes called the Person in Need of Protection (PINOP).
A request to a court, tribunal or other decision-making body.
An order made by a court that is aimed at protecting someone from another person who they are, or were, in a domestic relationship with. For example, husband and wife, mother and son, grandfather and granddaughter, de facto partners, people who live in the same household, unpaid carer and the dependant.
Apprehended Personal Violence Order
An order made by a court that is aimed at protecting someone from another person who they are not in, and have never been, in a domestic relationship with. For example, neighbours.
An order made by a court that is aimed at protecting one person or people from another person that causes them to fear for their safety.
A process for settling disputes where the parties involved present arguments and evidence to an independent third party, called an arbitrator, who makes a binding decisions about the matter.
It is alternative to going to court.
The process in a criminal trial where the charges are read to the accused and the accused enters a plea for each charge.
To be taken into police custody for committing, or being suspected of committing, a criminal offence.
A person detained in a mental health facility awaiting a mental health inquiry.
A hearing in court to work out the value of goods or the amount of damages to be awarded. In a recovery of goods case, if the plaintiff claims payment for the value of goods the court may have a hearing to decide what the goods are worth.
A judicial officer appointed to decide small claims cases in the Local Court of NSW.
The assets, debts and financial resources that need to be divided in a property settlement.
Property owned by a person. This includes real and personal property.
Companies will be associated entities if one company controls, influences or has an interest or investment in the other. Two businesses will also be 'associated entities' if there is a third business that controls them both.
The Australian Human Rights Commission protects and promotes human rights in Australia. It can investigate complaints about discrimination and breaches of human rights.
A person who can take the oath or affirmation of a person making an Affidavit and witness their signature. An Authorised Person must be a:
Apprehended Violence Order
An award sets out the minimum pay and conditions for people in an industry or profession.
Most employees in Australia are covered by, modern awards.
Word or phrase
The release of a person from custody after they have been charged with a criminal offence, on the condition that they return to court on a certain date. Other conditions may also be included, such as regular reporting to a police station and payment of money.
A concern that an accused person, if released from custody, will:
Before deciding whether to grant an accused person bail, the police of court must assess any bail concerns.
An obligation that an accused person must comply with in order to be granted and remain on bail, for example, reporting to police every day.
Any person who offers security to the police or the court on behalf of the accused.
Money offered to the police or the court that will be forfeited if the accused breaches bail.
Security, such as a home, offered instead of cash for bail money.
This is the standard of proof in civil cases, including AVO cases. To win their case the person making a claim has to bring enough evidence to prove on the balance of probabilities that it is more likely than not that their claim is true.
A legal process where people who cannot pay their debts give up their assets and control of their finances, either by agreement or a court order, in exchange for protection from legal action by creditors.
In a courtroom the parties involved in a case, or their lawyers, speak to the judge, magistrate, registrar or assessor from the bar table. You should not walk past this table unless you are given permission.
A lawyer whose main role is to represent people in court. They usually work together with a solicitor, and have limited direct contact with clients.
The place where the judge, magistrate, registrar or assessor sits.
The person who will inherit and receive a benefit under the terms of a will. Also known as a 'donee' or 'grantee'.
This is the standard of proof in criminal cases. For a person to be found guilty of a criminal charge, the person making the allegation, usually the police, has to bring enough evidence to prove that the defendant committed the crime. The court must be satisfied from the evidence that there is no other reasonable explanation.
A lane on a public road that only bicycle riders can use, which is usually marked with a symbol or sign.
A binding nomination is a separate form lodged by a member of a superannuation fund that specifies who will receive the death benefit.
A binding nomination ensures that the superannuation fund pays the death benefit to a person or to the estate as nominated by the member.
A binding nomination must be updated every three years.
An accident where no one is to blame. For example, accidents may be caused by:
An area outside the car (or other vehicle) that can't be seen while the driver is looking forward, through the rear view mirror or side mirrors.
Boarder (or lodger)
A person who receives accommodation for a fee, and usually some type of service, such as meals. A boarder or lodger usually doesn't have exclusive use of the property, for example, they might share certain facilities.
Accommodation that usually has:
Most boarding houses have a caretaker that looks after the property and people that stay there. The people that live in boarding houses are usually boarders or lodgers.
An extra payment an employee may receive for performing to a certain standard or reaching a specific target.
The line dividing two properties.
A decision by the Registrar General about where a boundary is located.
When a person who has an AVO against them (the defendant), does something that they are not allowed to do under that AVO. For example, the defendant telephones the protected person when the Final AVO says they cannot contact the protected person. Breaching a Provisional, Interim or Final AVO is a criminal offence.
The documents, including statements and photographs, that the police prosecutor will rely on in a case against a person charged with a criminal offence.
Bullying is usually repeated unreasonable behaviour against a person that creates a risk to the employee's health and safety. It can be from a supervisor, manager or colleague. Examples include:
The need for the person who makes a claim, or charges someone with an offence, to bring evidence to prove the claim or charge. It is also called the onus of proof.
Word or phrase
A term used to acknowledge people from different cultural backgrounds. This includes people whose first language is not English.
Court Attendance Notice
Time off work if an employee needs to look after a member of their immediate family or household who is unwell or if there is an emergency.
A person is a casual employee if:
Closed Circuit Television
A card issued by Centrelink providing proof that you receive a benefit. This includes:
A certificate identifying the owner of land. and any interests registered against the land. For example, a 'mortgage'.
A copy of an original document that has been confirmed as a true and correct copy by an authorised person, such as a solicitor or justice of the peace.
A service provided by the Local Court of NSW where senior staff provide information and assistance on procedures and applications to the Court.
A letter, statement or document written by someone who knows you, such as a family member, friend or employer, that gives information about your good character.
When the police formally accuse a person of committing a criminal offence.
A registered interest on your land. This stops you from selling your land until you pay a debt that you owe.
Payments made by one parent to the other to support a child. Both parents are responsible for financially supporting their child.
Children's Court of NSW
The court that deals with certain types of cases involving children and young people, including:
It is a closed court, meaning it is not open to the general public.
A chronology is a list of events and the date they took place. They are usually listed from the first event (oldest) to the last event (most recent).
Criminal Infringement Notice
An alternative sentencing process for adult aboriginal offenders, where a magistrate and members of the Aboriginal community sit in a circle and discuss the offence, the offender, and a suitable penalty.
A dispute between individuals, companies, associations or government agencies. For example, disputes about debts, contracts, compensation for injury or damage, wills and employment.
This is a New South Wales law that sets out the rules and powers of the court in civil cases (not criminal cases) in New South Wales.
Community Justice Centre
A television system used for the surveillance of a premises or place.
A courtroom that is not open to the general public. Most matter involving children are heard in closed court.
A separate written document made by the testator that is dated, signed and witnessed exactly like a will and is attached to the original will. The purpose of a codicil is to make some changes to the original will without making a new will.
When a person dies, the executor must file both the original will and the codicil with the application for probate.
Living together as a couple. There are many factors which can be used to determine whether a couple has been cohabitating, including:
An extra payment an employee may receive for selling a certain number of products. A commission can be a fee or calculated as a percentage of the number of products sold.
Law based on past decisions made in cases by judges, magistrates and tribunal members.
The parts of the strata scheme that are owned by the owners corporation.
The online portal for the Federal Court of Australia and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Also known as Comcourts or 'the portal'.
A service that provides free mediation to help people in disputes reach an agreement. Also called the 'CJC'.
Time off work to undertake voluntary community emergency activities or jury service.
A court order requiring an offender to complete a specified number of hours of community service work, as an alternative to serving a term of imprisonment.
An organisation formed under the
Corporations Act 2001 and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Companies have an Australian Company Number (ACN).
Time off work to spend time with an immediate family member who has a life threatening illness or injury.
Money given or received as payment for a loss or injury.
The person who ahs made an application for an AVO. This person may also be referred to as the 'applicant', 'protected person' or 'person in need of protection' (PINOP).
Car insurance that covers the insured person for any damage to:
A child who is aged six years or older and who is under the minimum school leaving age.
All children in NSW of compulsory school age must receive schooling.
An order made by the Children's Court NSW that requires a parent and/or child to attend a conference to:
An order made by the Children's Court NSW that requires a child to receive compulsory schooling.
An order can be made against:
Compulsory schooling undertaking
An agreed plan between the school, parents and agencies to support a child’s attendance at school.
The undertaking may address the reasons why the child is not attending school and include support options.
Car insurance that covers the insured person for any injuries they cause to other people while driving the insured car.
It does not cover damage to property, other vehicles or to your vehicle.
All cars registered in NSW need Compulsory Third Party car insurance. It is also known as a 'green slip'.
A type of alternative dispute resolution where a third party (called a 'conciliator') tries to help parties to come to an agreement about their dispute.
The terms or orders specified in an AVO.
An amount of money given to a person ordered in a subpoena to attend court or bring something to court. The money is to cover the reasonable costs of complying with the subpoena, such as travel expenses.
A person admitting that they have done something wrong or illegal.
Confirmed order for restitution
An Order for Restitution that has been confirmed by Victims Services.
This was previously known as a Restitution Order.
Where a lawyer has previously given advice to another party in the same or related matter, or where you and your lawyer have interests that clash.
To agree to something.
Orders made by a court based on an agreement between the parties.
Consent to an order for restitution
When the defendant agrees to an Order for restitution to be referred to Revenue NSW.
Consenting (agreeing) to an AVO being made against you, and agreeing with the facts included in the application.
Consenting (agreeing) to an AVO being made against you, but not agreeing with the facts included in the application.
To breach an Order, a regulation or law.
An application asking a court to punish a person for contravening (breaching) a court order.
When an employee is forced to resign because of the way their employer has acted.
A person who buys goods or services.
A legally binding promise or agreement, where there is consideration and certainty of terms. It doesn't have to be in writing.
A person who is self-employed and provides goods and services to other people or businesses. A contractor usually:
If a person is a contractor, they are not an employee.
To knowingly breach or refuse to comply with a condition of a Provisional, Interim or Final AVO.
A person who has been injured or had their property damaged because of the negligence of another person can make a claim for compensation. A court may decide that the person making the claim was partly to blame for their injury or damage to their property. This is called contributory negligence. The amount of compensation will usually be reduced as a result.
For example, Anna, Bill and Clement were involved in an accident. They all went to court, claiming money from each other for the damage to each of their cars. The Court found all three drivers had done something to cause the accident; Anna was 20% to blame, Bill was 20% to blame and Clement was 60% to blame.
To transfer a property from one owner to another.
When the Court accepts your plea of guilty or decides you are guilty after a hearing. When you are convicted you are also given a penalty (sentence).
A specific period of time during which you can cancel an agreement, usually with no penalty.
Coroners Court of NSW
The Coroners Court of NSW holds inquests or inquiries to investigate and determine the causes of:
Physical force applied as punishment or discipline.
A legal entity that has a separate legal personality from its members, such as a company or incorporated association.
An agreement between a lawyer and client about what costs will be charged for the legal work provided.
An independent assessment of the costs charged by a solicitor or barrister to decide if the costs are fair and reasonable.
An independent person appointed by the Supreme Court of NSW that reviews legal costs.
A court order that a party must pay all or part of another party's legal costs. This can include the cost of preparing a case and the cost of presenting a case. In some kinds of cases the amount of costs orders are fixed by regulation.
A person employed by a local council to issue fines for street parking offences.
A notice, issued by the police or another authority, that tells you the date and time that you have to go to court to answer an allegation that you have committed an offence. Also called a 'CAN'.
An amount of money that a magistrate may order you to pay in a criminal case for having your case heard.
Fees that the court charges to file documents, to issue certified copies of documents, and for tapes and transcripts of court cases.
An amount of money that the court orders that you pay as a penalty for an offence.
A court ordered program aimed at reducing re-offending by encouraging and assisting offenders to engage in education, treatment or rehabilitation programs. Also called 'CREDIT'.
Orders made by a court regarding the serving and filing of witness statements or any other documents, and the date the case is next in court.
A covenant is an agreement. Covenants are often made about land.
For example, a covenant never to build on certain land. The limits or obligations created by a covenant stay with land even when it is sold.
Court Referral of Eligible Defendants into Treatment
A person who is owed money, or believes they are owed money.
A case to decide whether a person who has been charged is guilty of a crime or other offence.
An allegation by the police that someone has committed a criminal offence.
A list of all the matters you have been to court for, including AVO's, warrants, and offences where:
An on the spot fine that may be issued by a police officer for certain criminal offences, such as offensive behaviour, offensive language and obstructing traffic.
A record that lists all the criminal offences a person has plead guilty to, or been found guilty of, and the penalty that they received for each offence. It also includes serious traffic offences such as:
A section 10 dismissal is not usually recorded on your criminal record.
An application for an AVO made by the defendant against the protected person (PINOP) in the original AVO.
In civil cases a plaintiff makes a claim for money against a defendant. Sometimes the defendant believes that the plaintiff actually owes them money. In these cases the defendant can file a claim against the plaintiff. This is called a 'cross claim'.
After a witness for one party has given their evidence (called 'evidence in chief'), the other party in the case, or their lawyer, can ask the witness questions about their evidence. These questions are called 'cross examination'.
Community Service Order
Compulsory Third Party (CTP) car insurance
To be in the care and control of police, at a police station or another place of detention.
Custody Management Record
A document, which details a person's time in police custody.
Behaviour that uses technology to threaten, intimidate, harass or humiliate someone with the intention of hurting them socially, psychologically or physically.
The use of technology to bully, harass, intimidate or hurt a person. It can occur anywhere on the internet including by email, on a website or through apps.
The use of technology to stalk or repeatedly harass a person.
Word or phrase
Money claimed or awarded by a court to compensate a party for loss or injury, or to put them back in the position they were in before a legal wrong occurred. For example:
A dog that:
Date of separation
The date you and/or your ex-partner decided to end your relationship.
Financial support paid by a person to their former de facto partner because their former partner can't meet their reasonable living expenses.
A relationship between two people, who are not married or related by family, who live together on a 'geniune domestic basis'.
The person who owes money, or is said to owe money, to a creditor.
An order made by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia that a marriage is void. If a Decree of Nullity is made, the marriage is treated like it never happened. You can still apply for property or parenting orders.
A written agreement that binds the people who sign it. The words 'signed, sealed and delivered' are written on the document. The signatures of the parties must be witnessed.
A deed in which a party agrees to stop any current legal action, and/or not take any legal action in the future, against the other party.
Where a person says or implies something that harms another person's reputation in the ordinary community, or within their trade or profession, and is likely to result in the person being shunned, avoided, made fun of, or despised.
Judgment made in favour of a plaintiff without a hearing, when the defendant has not taken any action to defend the claim such as, filing a defence.
A person who has
Penalty points that are added to your licence when you commit certain driving offences.
When an employee is moved to a position of a lesser grade, rank, or status.
A person who gives written evidence in an affidavit.
An application to the court by the prosecutor requesting that:
Where a person keeps goods or property that another person has a right to possess.
Instructions given by a registrar, assessor, magistrate or judge to parties in a case.
For example, to file documents by a particular date.
A person appointed or elected to be responsible for the activities of a company. Directors can represent the company in court cases.
When someone is treated less favourably than another person because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, pregnancy or marital status, age, disability, religion, sexual preference, trade union activity, or some other characteristic.
The fees or expenses that the lawyer has paid on your behalf to their parties. For example, the cost of filing fees, photocopying, court filing fees or paying for expert reports. If your lawyer briefs a barrister, the barrister's fees will be included as a disbursement.
The power of a registrar, assessor, magistrate or judge to make a decision, or give a penalty, based on the circumstances of the case. For example, a magistrate may give someone a fine for speeding, instead of a good behaviour bond.
When a person is sacked, fired or their employment is terminated.
An exemption from serving your documents on the other party.
District Court of NSW
The District Court hears criminal and civil trials, and some appeals, including:
A structure that separates adjoining properties. A dividing fence can be made out of all sorts of materials, for example bricks, metal or wood. It may also be a ditch, embankment or vegetation, for example, a hedge.
An order made by a court that ends a marriage. Sometimes called a 'Divorce Certificate'.
A relationship between two people that:
It is not a domestic relationship if the paid carer is applying for protection against the dependant person (and they do not have any other type of domestic relationship).
Violence by one person against another person when those people are in or have been in a domestic or intimate relationship together. For example, a partner, carer or family member.
Violence occurs when one person tries to dominate and control another person. This involves an abuse of power and can include physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, verbal abuse, stalking and intimidation, isolating someone, financial abuse, damage to property or threats to be violent in these ways.
A Local Domestic Violence Order, Interstate Domestic Violence Order or Foreign order.
A specialist police officer, trained in the dynamics of domestic and family violence, child protection procedures, victim support and court AVO processes required for the protection of victims of family violence. Also called a DVLO.
When driving laws are broken.
A written history of fines a person has paid for traffic offences they have committed, as well as information about demerit points, when their licence was issued and whether their licence has been suspended, disqualified or cancelled.
Driving without a legally valid drivers licence.
Drug Court of NSW
The Drug Court of NSW is a specialist court that attempts to address underlying drug dependency issues that lead to criminal behaviour.
It takes referrals from the Local and District Courts of eligible offenders who are given treatment for their drug dependency as an alternative to prison.
It sits in three locations:
Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or another drug.
A legal responsibility owed by one person to another person. Sometimes this means that the person with the duty (responsibility) must do something. At other times, this means that the person with the duty (responsibility) must not do something.
For example, all drivers have a duty (responsibility) to follow the Road Rules whenever they are using the road.
A person's legal responsibility to be careful when doing something that could result in someone getting hurt or property being damaged by the action. This duty only applies if it could have been predicted that someone could have been hurt by the action. For example, Brian was speeding through a red light and hits a pedestrian. Brian breached his duty of care to the pedestrian.
The ongoing duty that a person has to provide, to the Court and each other party, all information and documents relevant to an issue in their family law matter, in a timely manner.
The ongoing duty that a person has to provide, to the Court and each other party, all information and documents about their financial circumstances in a timely manner.
Word or phrase
An easement allows someone to use land that belongs to another person for a specific purpose. Common easements include easements for drainage and easements that provide a right of way.
See External Dispute Resolution
Electronically filing documents.
A person who works for another person or company and is paid a salary or wage.
A person or company who pays a person a salary or wage to work for them. The employer controls how and when the work is to be done.
A legal interest or claim made by one person against the property of another person, which limits the ways that person can deal with their property. For example, a bank will register an encumbrance over a vehicle on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) when you take out a secured car loan.
The person you nominate to be make decisions about your health and lifestyle if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.
A legal document that appoints a person, called your attorney, to deal with your property and financial affairs if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.
Action taken to make someone comply with a notice or order. For example, action taken by Revenue NSW to recover the outstanding amount of fines, or action taken by a judgment creditor to make the judgment debtor pay back the judgment debt.
An order issued by Revenue NSW after you've failed to pay your fine by the due date on your penalty reminder notice. when the order is issued, a fee is added to the unpaid fine.
The order gives you 28 days to pay your fine/s before Revenue NSW will take further action against you.
A direction by the Secretary of the Department of Education that a student is not to be enrolled at any government school other than a government school of a kind specified in the direction.
An agreement between employers and employees about terms and conditions of employment.
The responsibility that the parents of a child share to make major long-term decisions about their child's care, including:
This does not include day-to-day decisions, for example, decisions about what a child wears or eats.
This may include money, shares, vehicles, land and personal belongings.
A reference number used by the NSW Police Force, to identify a particular incident that has been reported to them.
Verbal or written statements of witnesses, documents and other items used to support a party's case in court.
A form sent to a judgment debtor to get information about the judgment debtor's income, assets and liabilities.
The amount of money a person has to pay when they make a claim on their insurance policy.
An Order that stops a person from living or going to another person’s home or workplace.
The person appointed in a will who has the responsibility and authority to manage the estate of the deceased person.
Documents or objects that are accepted by the court as evidence to support a case.
A decision of the court made without notice to the other party, or without the other party being present.
A service provided by an independent third party who hears and attempts to settle disputes without having to go to court. Also called EDR. For example, the Financial Ombudsman Service provides EDR for complaints made by a consumer about their bank or insurance company.
An apprehended domestic violence order made by a court in New Zealand or an apprehended personal violence order made by a court in another state or territory of Australia, or made by a court in New Zealand.
Word or phrase
The facts in a case that must be proved for the elements of the offence to be proved.
Fail to appear
When the accused does not attend court when required.
When claiming money to repair the damage to your car as a result of a car accident that was the other driver's fault, you can only recover an amount that is 'fair and reasonable'. For example, Matt and Helen had a car accident. Helen got three quotes for fixing the damage to her car. The first quote was for $2000, the second quote was for $2200 and the third quote was for $5000. Matt wouldn't pay to fix Helen's car so she started a court case against him. Helen claimed $2200 for repairs to her car. The amount of $2200 was assessed to be fair and reasonable based on the quotes.
A government scheme that may pay employees certain unpaid entitlements if their employer went bankrupt or into liquidation on or after 5 December 2012.
The Fair Work Commission (the 'Commission') is the national employment tribunal. A tribunal is similar to a court. The Commission makes awards (which set out minimum pay and conditions for employees in Australia). The Commission also resolves disputes between employers and employees through conciliation, mediation and arbitration. Before 1 January 2013 it was called Fair Work Australia (FWA).
An independent agency that investigates whether national workplace laws and awards are being complied with.
A qualified psychologist and/or social worker who specialises in working with children and families after separation and divorce.
Counselling provided to a married couple (and their children) to deal with personal issues about their marriage.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)
Mediation designed to help parents resolve disputes about the care arrangements for their child.
The law that covers family law matters in Australia.
A list held by the Australian Federal Police to stop a person taking a child out of Australia. This is also known as the Airport Watch List.
Family relationships centres
Services funded by the Federal Government to provide information, advice and dispute resolution (such as mediation) to help separated couples reach agreement on parenting arrangements without going to court.
An independent report written by a family consultant that may be used by a Judge to understand the issues in a case, and make decisions about the care arrangements for a child.
An order made by a court in any state or territory to protect a person from family violence. An ADVO would be considered a Family Violence Order.
When someone does something or fails to do something, which makes them responsible for an accident. For example, Max drove through a roundabout, failing to keep a proper lookout, and hit the car driven by Gayle who had already entered the roundabout. Max is 'at fault' for the accident as Gayle had right of way.
Federal Diversity Jurisdiction
The Constitution says that the federal parliament has power to invest a court of a state with federal jurisdiction. Diversity jurisdiction involves a dispute between residents of different states.
A formal written notice to a neighbour that proposes building, fixing or repairing a fence and asks for a contribution towards the cost of this fencing work. The notice should set out where the fence will go, what type of fence will be built and the estimated costs of the fencing work.
An order by the Local Court of NSW or Local Land Board about:
Any work that takes place as part of designing, building, fixing or replacing a dividing fence. This includes surveying and preparing the land along the common boundary.
A person who is under an obligation to act in another person’s interests and not their own.
Taking or sending documents to the court registry. The registry staff will stamp the document and put it on the court file.
The amount you pay when filing a document with the court.
An ADVO or APVO made by the court after:
Orders made by a court about the parenting arrangements for a child at the end of a case, after a hearing.
Controlling a person’s ability to get, use or save money and other financial resources. It is a type of family violence.
Contributions by a person in a relationship to the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any property of the parties.
The information and documents that show the financial circumstances of a party.
An order appointing a private individual or the NSW Trustee & Guardian to act as the financial manager of a person who is unable to manage their own financial affairs.
An order can be made:
A free service that independently resolves financial services (including insurance) disputes between consumers and member financial services providers. Also known as FOS.
A form used in a family law matters to set out a person's financial circumstances.
A decision made by a court about a matter in dispute between the parties after considering the evidence. For example, in a case about damage to a car in an accident, the court will make a finding about who caused the accident.
A gun, or other weapon, that is (or at any time was) capable of propelling a projectile. It includes:
A licence which allows the licensee to possess or use a registered firearm from the specific category to which their licence applies.
Goods that are fixed to and become part of land.
A domestic violence order made by a court in New Zealand.
A process where the offender, the victim, police and other affected people meet to discuss the crime, what happened, how people were affected by the crime, and prepare an 'intervention plan' for the offender. The offender completes the intervention plan as part of their sentence.
Financial Ombudsman Service
An application that is started with no reasonable prospect of success. A frivolous application is an application that is not serious. A vexatious application may be an application that was started to annoy or embarrass the other party.
Unrestricted drivers licence
A second reminder sent to you, telling you your fine is outstanding. If you receive a Further Penalty Reminder Notice it is too late to elect to go to court.
Fair Work Australia
A person who has been ordered by a court to pay a judgment debt.
A court order which tells a third party, such as an employer or a bank, that they must pay money belonging to a judgment debtor to a judgment creditor.
A government scheme that may pay employees certain unpaid entitlements if their employer went bankrupt or into liquidation before 5 December 2012.
Legal rights protected by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) for national system employees, including the right to:
When an employer dismisses an employee for using or trying to use their rights at work, such as, the right to take leave and get paid or the right to belong to a union.
Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
A court order that requires an offender to be of good behaviour for a specific period of time. If the offender commits any further criminal offences they will be in breach of the bond and may be re-sentenced for the original offence.
Items or property that you can own and take with you; for example, cars, jewellery, pets and furniture. It does not include land or fixtures, such as a house or fence.
A New South Wales statute that provides a right to easier access to government information.
Compulsory Third Party (CTP) car insurance
When a person admits they have committed a criminal offence or the court decides that the person has committed a criminal offence.
Word or phrase
A person who has received convictions for serious traffic offences three or more times in the past five years.
If a court declares that you are a Habitual Traffic Offender, you will also be disqualified from driving for a period of time. If you have been declared a Habitual Traffic Offender and you would like to get the decision cancelled (quashed), you should get legal advice.
To give a document to the registrar, assessor, magistrate or judge in court.
Repeated conduct intended to intimidate a person or make a person fearful.
Hardship Review Board
An independent body established under the State Debt Recovery Act 2018 which reviews decisions made by Revenue NSW.
The time when the parties present their evidence to the court and make submissions on the law that applies to the case. After the hearing the court makes a decision in the case.
Something that was not personally seen or heard by the person giving evidence but told to them by another person.
For example, Jane told Sarah that she heard Fred arguing with Sam. In this example, Sarah's evidence about the argument would be hearsay because Sarah did not see or hear the argument herself.
Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Act 1997 (NSW), a heavy vehicle is a motor vehicle or trailer that has a gross vehicle mass greater than 4.5 tonnes.
A car that is borrowed from a person or company for a period of time in return for a fee. Also referred to as 'car rental', 'rental car' or 'rent-a-car'.
A company that lends cars to customers for a period of time in return for a fee.
Buying goods by instalment payments. You can use the goods while you are paying for them but, until you have paid all the instalments, you aren't the owner. Sometimes there is a balloon, or lump sum, payment at the end of the contract.
A witness who gives evidence that is harmful to the party that called them. The party calling them can seek leave from the court to treat them as a hostile witness. If this is granted, the party will be allowed to cross-examine the witness and put it to them that they are not being honest. Also known as an unfavourable witness.
Word or phrase
Internal Dispute Resolution
When the police or the court orders that a person's vehicle be temporarily removed from their possession.
To be sentenced to spend time in gaol.
Footage of images and sounds recorded by equipment installed in some police vehicles. This is usually used by police to record the conversation they have with you after you are stopped.
Evidence that is not accepted as valid.
A police report that gives details about an event (such as a car accident) if the event was reported to the police.
A group of people with a common purpose who formally register their association under Commonwealth, state or territory law. The incorporated association has all the powers and rights of a person and is legally able to do things in its own name, such as own land, sign a lease, or appear in court. Incorporated associations are usually not-for-profit groups such as sporting and community organisations.
A lawyer appointed by the Court to represent a child and promote their best interests in court.
A person who works under a contract for a specific job or time. They generally don't work regularly for a particular employer, and can choose whether or not to do a particular job. Independent contractors usually have an ABN and are responsible for paying their own taxes direct to the Australian Taxation Office.
For example, Neil runs a plastics company and uses several drivers to do his deliveries. They all have their own trucks and their own ABN, and they invoice Neil's company for payment. Each week, the drivers pick what jobs, if any, they want to do. The drivers can also work for other companies.
Information presented or filed in Court for the prosecution of an offence.
Industrial Relations Commission (IRC)
The Industrial Relations Commission is the state tribunal that hears civil and criminal cases, and appeals, about industrial relations matters. It:
It deals mostly with matters related to state awards and agreements covering public service employment in state government and local government organisations.
A court order that requires a person to do something or not do something.
When a person or a company can't pay all their debts when they are due.
Asking the court for permission to repay a debt in regular fixed payments.
The cover provided to a person or company for certain losses they may suffer, in return for the payment of a premium.
When a person who has insurance asks their insurance company to pay for repairs to their damaged property or damage caused to someone else's property, under their insurance policy.
The person who receives cover from an insurance company for losses they may incur as a result of an accident, subject to the terms of the insurance contract.
An insurance company that provides cover to a person for losses they may incur as a result of an accident subject to the terms of the insurance contract.
An order of imprisonment of less than two years that can be served in the community subject to certain conditions (such as living at a particular address, regular alcohol or drug testing, doing community service work, and medical examinations) and under strict supervision by Corrective Services.
A fee paid in addition to a debt. This is usually a percentage of the debt. For money claims in court, the amount of interest payable is set out in Schedule 5 of the
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules.
A temporary ADVO or APVO made by the court:
Temporary orders made by a court about the parenting arrangements for a child until the matter is finalised.
A court order for one party to pay some of the other party's legal costs during the case rather than at the end.
Any company or body that holds an Australian Financial Services licence is required to provide a department or officer who will try and resolve customer problems within the company or body.
For example, if you don't agree with an insurer's decision, you can make a complaint to the department or officer that is in charge. Also called IDR.
A person who translates speech from one language into another, or sign language to speech.
Interstate Domestic Violence Order (Interstate DVO)
A domestic violence order made in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
When a person dies without having made a valid will, there are rules that set out who will inherit the deceased person's estate. These are called 'intestacy rules'.
When someone dies without having made a valid will.
From 27 March 2021, intimidation can also include conduct that causes someone to fear that an animal belonging to them, or an animal in their possession, will be harmed.
It is an offence to intimidate a person to make them fear physical or mental harm.
Under the influence of alcohol, a drug or any other substance.
A person who:
Adding another party into an existing case.
Where a person owns property with another person in undivided shares. If one of the tenants dies, their share goes to the surviving tenant.
A person with the authority to listen to and decide legal cases according to the law.
A decision of the court after all the evidence has been heard and considered.
The amount of money a court orders a defendant to pay a successful plaintiff. It can include all or part of the original amount claimed, plus court fees and interest up to the date of judgment.
A plaintiff who gets a judgment ordering the defendant to pay them money.
A defendant who gets a judgment against them to pay money to the plaintiff.
A section at the end of an Affidavit that includes the:
The authority of a court to decide matters brought before it. The authority may be limited by the place where the dispute arose or an offence was committed, the kind of dispute, the amount of money in dispute or the seriousness of an offence.
A person who is authorised under the
Justices of the Peace Act 2002 (NSW) to witness the signing of documents, such as affidavits and statutory declarations, and to certify documents.
To find a justice of the peace, see Finding a JP on the Department of Communities & Justice website.
When a defendant or judgment debtor stays in their home or business and won't answer the door or gate to be served with court documents.
The NSW state government provider of land and property services in New South Wales, including land title registration, property information, valuation, surveying and mapping. Also referred to as the LPI.
Another name for stealing.
A person who has studied law and has been approved to work as a lawyer by the Supreme Court of that state. They must also hold a current practising certificate and have insurance, if they do legal work.
A licence issued to a person who is at least 16 years of age allowing them to drive a car on a road or road related area for the purpose of learning to drive. They must be accompanied by a full licence holder.
An extra payment on top of annual leave pay.
In some cases you need to ask the court for permission to do something. This is called 'seeking the leave of the court'.
A gift of personal property or money to a beneficiary. Also known as a 'bequest'.
The money a person spends running a court case. If the person has a lawyer, the costs will include the lawyer's fees.
Something that can be enforced through the legal system.
A letter sent to a person, business or organisation that owes money asking them to repay the money.
Documents issued under intestacy to appoint a particular person or persons to administer a deceased person's estate.
A person's legal obligation to do something or pay something.
An order by the court cancelling your licence and banning you from driving for a period of time.
An order by RMS or the police banning you from driving for a period of time.
The legal right to keep someone's property as security for the payment of a debt, for example, a mechanic may keep a car until they are paid for the repairs to the car.
A claim for a specific amount of money.
Selling everything a company owns to pay off the company's debts. Any left-over assets are distributed among the members of the company. This process will finalise a company's affairs.
A party to a civil case.
The police station in charge of a number of police stations within a particular area.
Local Domestic Violence Order (Local DVO)
An apprehended violence order or an interim apprehended violence order made in New South Wales.
A lower court in NSW, which has the jurisdiction to hear less serious criminal and civil matters. There are two divisions of the Local Court for civil claims:
An order requiring a person or government agency to provide the Court with information about the location of a child.
Extra leave an employee may become entitled to for working a set period of time for one employer.
Land & Property Information