​Once the claim is made, the defendant has 21 days to respond. The defendant may:

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

You must wait the 21 days before taking further action.

Matter is resolved in 21 days

If the defendant 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 (Form 1B). This acknowledges that the defendant 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 defendant may wish to contest your claim.  This is done by filing a form called a Defence (Form 4) at the registry. The defence will contain statements as to why the defendant disagrees with your claim. It may also state where the defendant 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 defendant may wish to file a Defence and counterclaim (Form 5). A counterclaim will state reasons why the defendant believes you owe them money. A counterclaim is a claim made by the defendant against you. It is like the defendant 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 defendant believes that they have an action against you. If a counterclaim is lodged the defendant 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 21 days, if the defendant has not made any response to your claim, you can go to the registry and ask for judgment to be entered in your favour.

To do this you will need to:

  • fill in a Request to registrar (Form 18), and 
  • provide the proof of service if you have served the claim yourself. 

You can contact the call centre on +618 8 8204 2444 with any questions about this form and the process.

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

 You will need to tell the registry what you want to do with the claim. Judgment will not be entered in your favour without you attending at the registry and asking for judgment with the correct form completed.

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

To have the judgment set aside, the defendant must convince the court that there are good reasons why the defendant didn’t answer your claim and that the defendant has an argument against your claim. The defendant 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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