Receiving an originating claim (OC)
If you have received a claim document called an originating claim (OC), it means that a party (the claimant) has started a civil claim against you (the defendant).
An OC is a formal document addressed to you, requiring you to attend court if you wish to dispute the claimant's claims.
You should also read the OC to find out:
- Details of the claimant.
- The lawyers representing the claimant (if any).
- The options you can take to respond to the OC.
- The time limit you have to respond to the OC.
- The nature of the claimant's claim and relief or remedy they are seeking.
About the simplified civil process
The courts introduced the simplified civil process to facilitate the fair, quick and inexpensive resolution of disputes for certain cases.
It applies to:
- All civil cases heard in the Magistrate's Court begun by an OC.
- The Magistrate's Court hears civil cases where the claim amount does not exceed $60,000.
- Civil cases heard in the District Court begun by an OC if all parties consent to it.
- Parties have to file their consent according to Form 3 of Appendix A1 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 via eLitigation for the simplified civil process to apply.
- In general, the District Court hears civil cases where the value of the claim is between $60,000 and $250,000, or up to $500,000 for road traffic accident claims or claims for personal injuries arising out of industrial accidents.
- The District Court can also hear cases where the claimant limits their claim to $250,000.
Respond to a civil claim (simplified civil process) step-by-step
Refer to the following to find out about the simplified civil process and its key features.
Respond to a OC
Understand the possible ways you can respond to a OC.
Attend court for pre-trial matters
Depending on the nature of your case, if you wish to contest the claimant's claim and file a defence, the court may notify the claimant and you to attend a Civil Simplified Case Conference (Civil Simplified CC).
Attend court for trial
Most cases in the simplified civil process will proceed to simplified trials if parties are unable to resolve their dispute at the Civil Simplified CC.
File an appeal or enforce judgment or order, if needed
If you are not satisfied with the court's judgment or decision after the trial, you may file an appeal.
You may also take steps to enforce an order or judgment if the claimant does not comply with it.
Attend court for post-trial matters
The court will decide the amount of costs and disbursements as may be payable between parties after court proceedings (including appeals) conclude.
Key features of the simplified civil process include:
During a simplified trial, the court may allocate strict time limits for parties to present their case.
- Discovery and inspection of documents.
- At discovery, parties are expected to reveal to each other documentary evidence that is relevant to the issues in the case. Instead of the parties making applications for discovery, it is the court that will manage these aspects of a case at the Civil Simplified CC along with other interlocutory matters.
- Summary judgment and disposal of case on point of law.
- The summary judgment procedure, which tends to be drawn out by parties through the sequential filing of affidavits, will no longer apply. Cases which warrant a summary process will be dealt with at the Civil Simplified CC and simplified trial.