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This page describes the process for civil cases begun by a Writ of Summons (Writ) and heard in the District Court or the General Division of the High Court.

Refer to Start a civil claim by Writ of Summons (simplified civil process) instead if either of the following applies to your case:

  • Civil cases begun by a Writ and heard in the Magistrate's Court.
  • Civil cases begun by a Writ and heard in the District Court where all parties consent 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 plaintiff.

The other party is the defendant. Refer to How to respond to a Writ of Summons to find out about the pleadings you have to file if you contest the plaintiff's claim.

Pleadings relating to the plaintiff

As a plaintiff, 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. You must file and serve the Statement of Claim on the defendant as the defendant may apply to the court for an order to dismiss your action if you fail to do so.

When to file

In general, you should file and serve a Statement of Claim on the defendant together with the Writ of Summons (Writ).

If the defendant wishes to contest your claim, the defendant will:

  • File and send a copy of a Memorandum of Appearance (MOA) to you within 8 days of service of the Writ (if the defendant is located in Singapore), or within21 days of service of the Writ (if the defendant is located outside of Singapore).
    • The filing of an MOA is also known as entering an appearance.
  • File and serve a copy of their defence on you within 14 days of the time limited for the entry of an appearance.

If you are served with the defence, you may choose to file and serve a reply on the defendant within14 days of receiving the defence.

If the defendant files a counterclaim

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, together with their defence, on you.

If you receive a copy of the defence and counterclaim, you may file and serve a reply together with your defence to the counterclaim on the defendant within 14 days of receiving the defence and counterclaim.

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 the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow the Rules of Court and the State Court Practice Directions or the Supreme Court Practice Directions 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 Appendix B of the Rules of Court 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

$20

File a reply

$20

File a defence to a counterclaim

$20

Refer to the following for filing fees if your claim is up to $1 million. 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

$200

File a reply

$200

File a defence to a counterclaim

$200

Refer to the following for filing fees if your claim is more than $1 million. 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

$500

File a reply

$500

File a defence to a counterclaim

$500

Close of pleadings

Both you and the defendant may not file and serve any pleading after pleadings are closed at the expiry of the following time limits:

  • 14 days after service of the reply on the defendant.
  • 14 days after service of the defence to counterclaim on the defendant (if there is no reply but only a defence to counterclaim).
  • 14 days after the defendant serves their defence (or defence and counterclaim) on you (if you choose not to serve a reply or a defence to counterclaim on the defendant).

Entering a default judgment

You may consider entering a default judgment against the defendant if the defendant does either of the following:

  • Fails to file and send a copy of a Memorandum of Appearance (MOA) on you within 8 days of receiving the Writ (if the defendant is located in Singapore), or within21 days of receiving the Writ (if the defendant is located outside of Singapore).
    • The filing of an MOA is also known as entering an appearance.
  • Fails to file and serve a copy of their defence on you within 14 days of filing the time limited for the entry of appearance.

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:

Legislation associated with this topic include:

Refer to:

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

File an originating process and pleadings

File a request for a default judgment, if needed

File an interlocutory application, if needed

Set down the action for trial

File an appeal or enforce judgment or order, if needed

Attend court for post-trial matters

2021/10/13

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