Receiving a Writ of Summons (Writ)
If you have received a claim document called a Writ of Summons (Writ), it means that a party (the plaintiff) has started a civil claim against you (the defendant).
A Writ is a formal document addressed to you, requiring you to attend court if you wish to dispute the plaintiff's claims.
You should also read the Writ to find out:
- Details of the plaintiff.
- The lawyers representing the plaintiff (if any).
- The options you can take to respond to the Writ.
- The time limit within which you have to respond to the Writ.
- The nature of the plaintiff's claim and relief or remedy they are seeking.
About the civil process begun by Writ
This section describes the civil process for the following cases:
- Civil cases begun by a Writ and heard in the District Court.
- The District Court hears claim sums 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 plaintiff limits their claim to $250,000.
- Civil cases begun by a Writ and heard in the General Division of the High Court.
- The General Division of the High Court hears claim sums exceeding $250,000, or, in the case of road traffic accident claims or claims for personal injuries arising out of industrial accidents, sums exceeding $500,000.
- 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.
Civil process (Writ of Summons) step-by-step
Refer to the following to find out about the civil process begun by a Writ.
Respond to a Writ
Understand the possible ways you can respond to a Writ.
Prepare the case for trial
The most common step after the close of pleadings is the discovery and inspection of documents. At discovery, parties are expected to disclose to each other documentary evidence.
The court may direct parties to attend a pre-trial conference relating to the matters arising in the action or proceedings.
File an interlocutory application, if needed
In further preparation of a case for trial, either party may also file interlocutory applications with the court. This is done by filing a summons, which should usually be supported by an affidavit.
Attend court for post-trial matters
The court will decide the amount of costs such as fees, charges, disbursements, expenses and remuneration payable between parties after court proceedings conclude.
- For State Courts: the Guide to Common Civil Justice Processes (PDF, 1476 KB).