File and serve pleadings (simplified civil process) (from 1 April 2022)
If the simplified civil process applies to your case, you must file and serve documents known as pleadings and a list of documents. Find out what they are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.