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Before you file a civil claim

A civil action begins when a party (the plaintiff) files a claim document called an originating process against another party (the defendant).

This document can either be a Writ of Summons (Writ) or an Originating Summons (OS), depending on the nature of the case.

Refer to the following to find out in which court process you have to follow and the conditions that apply:

You will have to...

The process applies for any of the following...

Start a civil claim by Writ of Summons (simplified civil process)
  • Your case is heard in the Magistrate's Court where the claim sum does not exceed $60,000.
  • Your case is heard in the District Court where the claim amount is 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) and all parties to the case consent for the simplified civil process to apply.
Start a civil claim by Writ of Summons
  • Your case is heard in the District Court where the claim amount is 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.
  • Your case is heard in the General Division of the High Court where the claim amount exceeds $250,000 or exceeds $500,000 for road traffic accident claims or claims for personal injuries arising out of industrial accidents.
Start a civil claim by Originating Summons

It is required by law or concerns matters of law where there is unlikely to be any substantial dispute of facts.


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