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This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.

Note

This page describes the simplified civil process for cases begun by an originating claim and heard in the Magistrate's Court or the District Court where all parties consent to the application of the simplified civil process.

Refer to Start a civil claim by originating claim instead if either of the following applies to your case:

  • Civil cases begun by a OC and heard in the General Division of the High Court.
  • Civil cases begun by a OC and heard in the District Court where parties do not agree to the application of the simplified civil process.

About pleadings in a civil case

A pleading is a document in which a party states the facts on which they rely for their claim or defence.

Pleadings help parties to:

  • Clarify their position so that they may prepare for trial accordingly and not be taken by surprise.
  • Save time and expense so that the case will not be unnecessarily lengthened by matters that are not in dispute.

Both parties have to file pleadings for civil cases.

If you are filing a claim against another party, you are the claimant.

The other party is the defendant. Refer to How to respond to an originating claim (simplified civil process) to find out about the pleadings you have to file if you contest the claimant's claim.

Pleadings and list of documents

For cases where the simplified civil process applies, when a party files and serves the pleadings on the other party, they must also file and serve a list of documents prepared according to Form 1 of Annex A1 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 as well as copies of all the documents referenced therein. 

The list of document should set out all documents that a party has in their possession or control which fall within one or more of the following categories:

(a) all documents that the party in the question will be rely on;

(b) all known adverse documents; and

(c) applicable documents that fall within a broader scope of discovery as agreed between the parties or ordered by the Court.

Example
Documents that can be referred to in the list of documents may include (but not limited to) contracts, loan agreements or letters exchanged between the parties before the dispute arose.

Pleadings relating to the claimant

As a claimant, the pleadings in a civil action you may need to file include:

A statement of claim is a document containing the relevant facts which is relied on to establish your claim.

When to file

In general, you should file and serve a Statement of Claim on the defendant together with the OC.

When a defendant, served with an OC, wishes to contest a claim, the defendant must file and serve a notice of intention to contest or not contest within 14 days after the statement of claim is served on the defendant where it is served in Singapore and 21 days where the defendant is served out of Singapore.

The defendant must then file and serve a defence to the originating claim within 21 days after the statement of claim is served on the defendant where it is served in Singapore and 5 weeks where the defendant is served out of Singapore. If the defendant fails to file and serve a defence within the prescribed time, you as the claimant may apply for judgment in default of defence.

The defendant may also make a counterclaim in the same action if they think that they have a claim against you. In this case, they will file and serve their counterclaim (Form 13 of Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021), together with their defence, on you. If you are served with a defence and counterclaim, you will have to file your defence to counterclaim within 14 days.

If the defendant is challenging the jurisdiction of the Court, the defendant need not file and serve a defence on the merits, but must file and serve a defence stating the ground on which the defendant is challenging the jurisdiction of the Court.

After the defendant has filed its defence or you, as the claimant, have filed your defence to counterclaim, no further pleadings may be filed unless the Court otherwise orders. If you, as the claimant, merely wish to deny assertions in the defence, no reply needs to be filed, and if a reply is needed you, as the claimant, must seek the approval of the Court.

 

How to file

You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, you must file your pleadings via eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow the Rules of Court 2021 and the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees to file pleadings. You may also refer to Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021 for the full list of court fees.

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File a statement of claim

$10

File a reply

$10

File a defence to a counterclaim

$10

File a list of documents

$10

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File a statement of claim

$20

File a reply

$20

File a defence to a counterclaim

$20

File a list of documents

$10

Entering a default judgment

You may enter a default judgment against the defendant if:

(a) they do not respond to your OC by filing a notice of intention to contest or not contest within 14 days from receiving the OC where it is received in Singapore, or within 21 days where it is received outside Singapore.

(b) they file a notice of intention not to contest all or some of your claims in the OC.

You may also enter a default judgment if the defendant does not file a defence (a type of pleading) within 21 days of receiving the statement of claim where it is received in Singapore, or within 5 weeks where it is received outside Singapore.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Refer to Digest 1 (General overview of the new Rules of Court – what is new?) and Digest 2B (How will case management in the State Courts be different?)
Legislation associated with this topic include:

Refer to:

Alert-2 Note

This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

File a request for a default judgment, if needed

Attend court for pre-trial matters

File an appeal or enforce judgment or order, if needed

Attend court for post-trial matters

2021/10/13

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