What is a statement of claim in legal matters? A statement of claim is an important court document as it outlines what a certain party owes to the party making the claim. In many instances, it can be understood as the first step to starting a court case regardless of whether it is in a district court or supreme court.
The one making the claim, and the one starting the court case is a plaintiff. On the other hand, the one responding to the claim or the one who the court case is against is a defendant.
The defendant should not ignore the statement of claim or it will be a defendant’s breach. If you receive a statement of claim, it means that you owe some money to the plaintiff. Therefore, it is important to deal with this in a timely manner. For defence from the claim, you can ask the plaintiff for further and better particulars i.e. additional information. Moreover you can file a defence in the same court where the plaintiff filed the initial claim.
Purpose of Statement of Claim
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, a statement of claim sets the court process in motion. It is the first step that a plaintiff needs to take in order to get the ball rolling to start a court proceeding. A plaintiff needs to file a statement of claim at the court and then serve it to the other party.
Secondly, it is an important document that sets out all details of the issue or the dispute. The document outlines pleadings and particulars of the court matter. Pleadings refer to all the facts that the plaintiff will use for their case. In other words, the claims or the allegations themselves are called pleadings.
On the other hand, particulars refers to all the details that support the allegations and claims or the pleadings of the matter.
Thirdly, in providing an outline of the claims that a plaintiff is making, it also mentions the remedy that the party is seeking. Most commonly, parties seek an award of compensation. The document allows the party to detail what type of outcome they are asking for.
Lastly, this is the only way through which the defendant can get an opportunity to respond. Generally, once the party files this document to the defendant, the defendant is given 28 days to respond to the claim. These 28 days are calculated from the date of service.
Are You The Plaintiff? How to Prepare a Statement of Claim NSW?
Are you looking to get your money back from the defendant? To start a court proceeding and prepare a statement of claim, firstly, you have to fill out the form and file it in the Small Claims Divisions of the Local Court.
You can complete the Form 3B statement of claim form through the NSW Online Registry. Alternatively, you can get access to copies of this form from the Local Court or on the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules website here.
Once you have access to the form, you can complete the form either online, through the registry, or by printing it out and manually filling it. While filling the form, it is important to be very careful when you enter the details of the defendant such as their name or business’s name and address etc.
You will need the following information when filling out the form as a plaintiff:
- the defendant’s full name and accurate street address
- reason for making the claim and amount of money you are claiming and all relevant details in this regard
- the dates and events that are relevant for this claim
- the court’s address where you plan to file your document
It is important to note that as a plaintiff you may also be able to claim interest if the amount you are claiming is over $1000. However, to work this out, it is best to discuss this matter with a legal professional.
Are You The Defendant? How to Respond to The Claim?
As mentioned above, the defendant must respond to the claim within 28 days. The plaintiff also has to serve a notification affidavit to the court after serving the statement of claim at the court. The defendant should never ignore the notice. It is important to act quickly and responsibly.
It is quite possible that the defendant may feel that he or she does not owe the plaintiff the amount that the plaintiff claims. If you are defending yourself against a claim, it is advisable to obtain legal advice. The defendant will need to file a defence if they disagree with the claim. The plaintiff and defendant will then need to attend court for a pre-trial review.
On the other hand, the defendant may choose to make the payment. Once they pay the total amount including the interest fee and filing fee to whoever applicable, they can fill out the payment form with the court. If the defendant does not make the full payment, the plaintiff can apply for default judgement.
The defendant may also wish to ask for more information in regard to the claims being made. Moreover, they may contact the plaintiff and opt to negotiate and settle the matter and pay less than what the plaintiff is asking for. For negations also it is important to seek legal advice prior to contacting the plaintiff and attempting to negotiate.
Seek Legal Advice from Civil Disputes and Litigation Experts
To summarise, this document is essential for initiation of court proceedings in civil law. Regardless of whether you are the party who is making claims or the party that is on the receiving end of the statement, it is necessary for you to seek legal advice about your next steps or about attending court.
At JB Solicitors, we provide market-leading legal services for family law, criminal law, civil law, employment law, and many other matters. Our team consists of award-winning mediators and arbitrators who can ensure that all disputes are settled amicably. Sometimes consumer credit debts and external dispute resolution may be applicable.
If your matter requires court intervention, we are well-equipped to represent your interests in court and get you desirable outcomes for your particular matter.
For any enquiries on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our team of friendly and experienced lawyers today. Contact our team today if you wish to take legal action.