What Happens if you are Served with a Magistrates Court Complaint?

Firstly here are some terms you might hear if you are involved in a civil matter:

Plaintiff: The person that is making the claim and filing the Complaint;

Defendant: The person that the claim is being made against and who receives the Complaint:

Complaint: A court document that sets out the details of the claim that the Plaintiff is making against the Defendant;

Notice of Defence: The document that the Defendant will file with the Court in response to the Complaint made against them.

If you have had a dispute with someone regarding payment of costs or monies owed, or any other civil matter, they may issue a Complaint against you.  If you receive or are served with the complaint, you have the following options:

  • If you agree with the claim as set out in the Complaint, you may try resolve the matter with the Plaintiff by paying the monies owed and any further costs that may be owed to them. This is stated on the Complaint; or
  • If you do not agree with the claim as set out in the Complaint, you have 21 days from the date you are served with the Complaint, to file a Notice of Defence with the Court.

If you do not take any action within 21 days from the date you were served with the Complaint, the Plaintiff may apply for a default judgement against you.  This will then result in an order being made against your name for what was claimed by the Plaintiff in the Complaint

If you have been served with a Complaint or need assistance in relation to a civil matter, please contact our office on 9707 1155.

Wollerman Shacklock Lawyers.