​Once the claim is made, the respondent has 28 days to respond. The respondent may:

  • pay you the amount that you have claimed
  • agree to settle out of court for some other amount
  • defend or reply to the claim
  • defend the claim and lodge a counterclaim
  • do nothing

You must wait the 28 days before taking further action.

Matter is resolved in 28 days

If the respondent pays you the money or you both agree to settle for another amount, then the matter has been resolved. You don’t need to take any further court action unless they fail to pay you the amount they agreed. You must inform the registry if this has occurred.

Arrangements for agreed payments should be made between both parties and put in writing. Once payment arrangements have been made, you may choose to sign an Enforceable Payment Agreement. This acknowledges that the respondent has agreed to pay and sets out the arrangements you have made with them for payment to be made.

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Claim is contested

The respondent  may wish to contest your claim.  This is done by filing a defence via the online CourtSA portal. The defence will contain statements as to why the respondent disagrees with your claim. It may also state where the respondent agrees with what you have said. It is a document to let you know what their position is so that the matter can proceed with both parties knowing what the other intends to say about the issue.

Alternatively, the respondent may wish to file a defence and counterclaim. A counterclaim will state reasons why the respondent believes you owe them money. A counterclaim is a claim made by the respondent against you. It is like the respondent filing a separate claim, in the way in which you filed your claim, but for the sake of convenience it is dealt with in the same matter.

A counterclaim will not always be lodged. It will only happen when the respondent believes that they have an action against you. If a counterclaim is lodged the respondent must serve it on you either in person or sent by the court.

See Directions Hearings section.

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No response is received

After you have waited 28 days, if the respondent has not made any response to your claim, you can ask the court for judgment to be entered in your favour.

To do this you will need to:

  • log into your CourtSA account and request a Default Judgement against the respondent.
  • provide the affidavit of Proof of Service if you have served the claim yourself. 

Visit the CourtSA Help Centre for further assistance on how to lodge a Default Judgment. Alternatively you cancall the CourtSA Registry on +618 8 8204 2444 or the Legal Services Commission for Legal advice on 1300 366 424. 

You are in charge of your claim, not the court.

Judgment will not be entered in your favour without initiating this process via the online CourtSA portal or at a Court Registry.

If you have judgment entered in your favour because the respondent didn’t respond to your claim, the respondent is able to make an application to the court to have judgment set aside.

To have the judgment set aside, the respondent must convince the court that there are good reasons why the respondent didn’t answer your claim and that the respondent has an argument against your claim. The respondent cannot simply apply to avoid payment. There must be a reason. You will be notified if this has occurred.

If judgment is set aside, the matter will continue in the court process. If judgment is not set aside, then the judgment in your favour stands as a judgment of the court and you are able to try recover the amount owed to you.

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