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.
Note
Refer to Respond to a civil claim made by a 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.

Civil process (Writ of Summons) step-by-step

Refer to the following to find out about the civil process begun by a Writ.

Upon receiving a Writ

Respond to a Writ

Understand the possible ways you can respond to a Writ.

After the close of pleadings

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.

After the close of pleadings

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.

After a date for the trial is fixed

Attend court for trial

Both the plaintiff and you or your lawyers (if any) will take turns to present your respective cases to the judge during a civil trial.

After a judgment is made

File an application, 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 plaintiff does not comply with it.

After a judgment is made

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.

2021/07/23

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