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Common questions

What is a civil matter?

A civil matter involves a party (a person, a company or the government) who is in dispute with another party and seeks compensation or some other remedy.

How do I start a civil action?

To start a civil action, you need to lodge a claim or application in the relevant court registry.

Who are the parties to a civil action?

The plaintiff is the party who lodges the claim. The defendant is the party who is alleged to have infringed the plaintiff's rights.

What is the jurisdiction of each court?

Magistrates Court deals with monetary disputes if the amount involved is $150,000 or less. If a dispute involves an amount more than $150,000 but less than $750,000 it will be heard in the District Court. The Supreme Court hears all civil matters where the amount of money is more than $750,000.

How do I access the files or documents I need?

You can go to the counter of the registry where the civil action was initiated and ask to search a file or document.

You can also write to the registrar at the registry where the civil action was initiated and ask for copies of a file or a document filed in an action.

You must pay a fee to search a file unless you are a party to the action. A fee must be paid in all circumstances to copy a file or a document filed in an action.

You can also search many civil files online.

Last reviewed
22 June 2011
Last updated
28 March 2012

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