Claim and statement of claim
A claim form is a brief description of what a plaintiff is claiming from a defendant, while the statement of claim outlines the claim in detail.
A claim and statement of claim can be used to start proceedings for varying amounts, whether for an agreed or fixed amount of money, or unknown amounts such as damages or breach of contracts.
Examples of a claim may include:
- money owing on a debt
- damages to a motor vehicle
- breach of contract
Where your matter is heard
Which court will consider your claim depends on the value of the monetary dispute. Claims for amounts:
- up to $150,000 can be commenced in the Magistrates Court
- between $150,000 and $750,000 can be commenced in the District Court
- for any amount over $750,000 can be commenced in the Supreme Court.
Note: For disputes of a value less than $25,000, visit the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Starting court action
To start court action, file the original and two copies for each defendant of the following forms at the court registry:
A sealed copy will be returned for you to photocopy and serve on the defendants. A filing fee must be paid..
Serving the other party
Any adult can serve the other party by handing a copy of the claim and statement of claim to them personally.
You can serve a company by posting the claim to their registered office address or serving a director of the company personally. You will also need to provide proof of the address of the registered office, usually by ASIC search.
Serving the defendant
A claim and statement of claim can be served by the plaintiff or other adult, a private process server or a court bailiff.
If you wish to use a bailiff, court staff will tell you the relevant fees (or use our online search tool) and how to make contact with the bailiff.
The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 outlines other ways to serve documents depending on the claim type, agreement by legal representatives to accept documents and other special arrangements. Thoroughly investigate the correct way before you serve the documents.
Providing the defendant/s with a copy, or service of the claim, is very important as it establishes the jurisdiction of the court. If you have any questions or concerns, seek independent legal advice.
Proving the claim was served
The person who served the claim and statement of claim must complete a Form 46 - Affidavit (UCPR) (DOC, 41KB) for each defendant. The document must then be filed with the court.
What happens next
If the defendant disputes the claim, they must file a Form 6 - Notice of intention to defend (UCPR) (DOC, 38KB) and a Form 17 - Defence (DOC, 43KB) within 28 days. They must send you a copy of the forms after filing them.
Your matter is not automatically listed for a hearing after the defendant files a defence. You, the plaintiff, need to continue the claim. Within 14 days of receiving the defendant’s notice of intention to defend, file a reply in response to their defence.
When preparing your reply, you may:
- ask the other party for more information if you think they haven’t been specific enough
- find a third party who has documents or information relevant to your action, in which case you may need to file and serve Form 021 - Notice of non-party disclosure (UCPR) (DOC, 61KB)
- ask the other party to provide a list of documents in their possession relevant to your claim.
Requesting a settlement conference
After seeking more information, or after the defendant has filed and served their defence, you can ask the registrar to convene a settlement conference.
A settlement conference is convened by the registrar to discuss the claim issues with the parties. The process aims to resolve matters before they go to trial or at least define the issues that will be decided at the trial.
A claim and statement of claim won’t be set for a trial until a settlement conference has been held and all parties have signed Form 48 - Request for trial date (DOC, 103KB).
If they pay the money
If the other party pays the debt, notify the court by filing Form 27 - Notice of discontinuance (UCPR) (DOC, 28KB).
If they ignore the claim
If the defendant ignores your claim, you may request a default judgment/money order for the amount outstanding at least 28 days after the claim was served on them.
Read information about enforcing judgments/money orders on the website or refer to the Queensland Law Handbook.
The filing fees are prescribed by the Uniform Civil Procedure (Fees) Regulation 2009.
You don’t need to have legal representation; however, you may wish to seek independent legal advice if you’re considering civil action.
The other party may have legal representation if they wish.
Contact us for queries about claim and statement of claim.