Defending Litigation Proceedings

  • An application: If there is only one area of law that needs to be decided, the party may choose to file an application.
  • A claim: If the facts and details of a certain case must be established before the question of law is discussed, then the party would generally file a claim.

If you receive a notice of court proceedings, we recommend obtaining legal advice and contemplating whether or not your matter may be suited to an alternatives to court, before proceeding with the litgation.

What is overriding purpose?

Civil Litigation contains an overriding purpose, that is to facilitate the ‘just, quick and cheap’ resolution of the matter through the proceedings. In this regard, a positive duty is placed on all parties that they will help to support this overriding purpose of the court, including that they will comply with all directions and orders given by the court. Similarly, lawyers and barristers engage in conduct that assists this overriding purpose during the litigation. Any failure to comply with overriding purpose during litigation will be considered by the court when deciding upon costs.

Which court in NSW?

1. Local Court NSW

The NSW Local Court is governed by the Local Court Act 2007 (NSW) and the Local Court Rules 2009 (NSW). The Local Court deals with civil disputes for claims up to $100,000.
The Local Court has two divisions:

  • Small Claims Division: Hears claims of up to $20,000
  • General Division: Hears claims over $20,000 and up to $100,000.

2. District Court

The District Court is governed by the District Court Act 1973 (NSW) and the District Court Rules 1973 (NSW).

The District Court deals with matters in 2 main categories:

  • Motor accident cases – unlimited jurisdiction.
  • Other claims to a maximum amount of $750,000 (unless by consent by the parties) – amounts higher than this are in the Supreme Court jurisdiction.

3. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of New South Wales is the highest Court in New South Wales. It is governed by the Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW) and the Supreme Court Rules 1970 (NSW).
The Supreme Court has unlimited jurisdiction for the administration of justice in NSW as necessary and hears the most serious civil litigation cases.