Statement of Claim
The term “Originating Process” refers to a broad category of documents that are used to initiate the beginning stages of civil litigation. A type of initial legal proceeding known as a statement of claim is one that explains why the other party believes they are owed money by the person being sued and what that debt is.
What kind of document is this?
The term “Originating Process” refers to a broad category of documents that are used to initiate the beginning stages of civil litigation. It is the process by which proceedings are commenced and includes the process by which a cross-claim is made, according to the definition provided by the Civil Liability Act of New South Wales (NSW).
One of the documents which can start a court case is a statement of claim. A statement of claim is a court document that sets out how much or what the other party claims someone owes them and why they are making the claim. The person who files the statement of claim is called the plaintiff.
An originating process almost always needs to be served to inform the defendant of the case being brought against them and is the first step in litigation. The requirements for creating and formalizing an originating process are as follows (further regulatory information can be found in the relevant Uniform Civil Procedure Rules).
What are the options for a response?
When you receive the statement of claim you have a number of options to take within 28 days of being served, including:
File a defense
If you believe you don’t owe all or part of the claim, it is important you file a defense within 28 days of receiving the statement of claim at the same court where the claim was filed.
Filing a defense prevents you from having a default judgment made against you and it can be done at the same time as other actions explained below, such as asking for particulars or filing a cross-claim.
Pay the money claimed or return the items claimed
You may do so if the statement of claim in question concerns monetary matters and you are in agreement with the claim. You have the right to do so if the goods at issue are the subject of the statement of claim and you accept the claim.
You have the option of writing the plaintiff a letter asking for further and more specific particulars if you feel as if you need more information on the issues raised in the statement of claim.
After you have submitted your defense, you have the option to ask the defendant for further and more accurate particulars.
If the plaintiff files a motion for a default judgment against you before replying to your request for further information, you may use the letter you sent asking for additional and better particulars as grounds for a motion to have the decision overturned using it as evidence.
Within the first 28 days after being served with the statement of claim, you have another option available to you, which is to file a notice to plead facts in order to inquire into the claim in more depth.
You should seek the opinion of an attorney before making a decision about whether or not to submit a notice to plead facts or a defense.
Proceed to an outside organization that handles dispute settlement for consumer credit debts.
In the event that the claim pertains to a consumer credit debt, you have the option of engaging in an external dispute resolution (EDR) by submitting a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
The EDR programmer is a service that aims to resolve disputes between customers and credit issuers. This service is completely free and impartial. Home loans, credit card debt, and personal loan debt are all examples of consumer credit debts.
When you apply for assistance from AFCA, you are required to inform the creditor or their legal agent that you are doing so.
In the event that your application is approved, AFCA will get in touch with the creditor in an effort to mediate and settle the disagreement via the use of negotiation and conciliation. During the time that the AFCA is evaluating the disagreement, the creditor often is not allowed to proceed with the court case or enforcement action without the prior approval of AFCA.
In the event that the disagreement cannot be settled via mutual agreement, the AFCA will make a determination. If you agree with the decision that the AFCA has made, then it will become obligatory on your creditor. You need to see an attorney if you do not agree with the decision made by AFCA.
It is strongly suggested that you give EDR a go before sending in your defense form.
File a cross-claim
You may be able to bring a claim against the plaintiff if you have reason to think that they are in possession of your property or that they owe you money. This kind of claim is known as a cross-claim, and it has to be submitted no later than 28 calendar days from the date on which you were served with the statement of claim.
In the event that you submit a cross-claim, you are required to likewise file a defense at the same time; if you fail to do so, the plaintiff may be able to get a judgment against you.
When you are served with a statement of claim, you should always consult an attorney as quickly as possible before taking any action, as this is our strong recommendation.
What are the repercussions, from a legal standpoint, of disregarding it?
If you are served with a statement of claim and do not take any action within the allotted time frame of 28 days, the plaintiff may be able to obtain a default judgment imposed against you without you having to attend court or be aware of the proceedings. After then, the default decision might be put into effect.
Which papers and pieces of information do you need to hand over to your attorney?
- You should obtain legal assistance as soon as possible if you have been served with a statement of claim. You should also supply your attorney with the following information:
- The claimant’s statement of the case;
- Information pertaining to the debt or items that are being claimed;
- Specifics on whether or not the plaintiff owes you money or products;
- Your financial condition;
- If you are willing to get into settlement negotiations with the plaintiff;
- Any other information that has been requested by your attorney.
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