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A notice of form is essentially an intention to sue that you give to the respondent before making a legal claim in court. If you do not do so, you need to consider the possibility of non-recoverable costs of filing a claim. However, a notice of claim can be used in several situations, including claims for deductions.

It is important that you give the notice of claim in the form of a Final Notice or a Letter of Demand. In either case, the recipient will have a timeframe of 21 days to respond to your notice in which the recipient may perform one of the following actions 

  • They may pay the money they owe you, which will be the amount you refer to in your claim
  • They may try to negotiate with you to come to a mutual arrangement
  • It is also possible that they may involve a third party to try to negotiate a resolution
  • Or, they may entirely ignore the notice and do nothing.

Also Read: Letter of Demand – How to Get Your Money Back Legally

If the respondent agrees to pay the money that they owe you or is able to negotiate a mutual agreement with you, then you may not need to take any further action in court. The purpose of the notice of claim is to warn the respondent and give them one last chance to reach out before the matter goes to court.

However, if the other party does not want to pay you the amount mentioned in the claim, then you have the option to initiate a pre-action meeting as long as both parties are willing to attend. This will be Mediation.


Before you decide to take any legal action, it is a good idea to consider whether mediation may be an appropriate approach to the relevant matter. Mediation is typically a process where both parties agree to sit in the same room with a mediator to resolve the dispute.

Moreover, the mediator will be a neutral third party who listens to the parties involved and help them discuss the problem calmly. However, in the end, it is up to the parties involved to arrive at a solution. Mediation can be a crucial step before going to trial because it is an informal process as compared to the court process, which in turn creates less stress upon the parties involved. Moreover, the mediator won’t settle the matter but only help the parties engage in a respectful conversation and resolve their dispute. Additionally, you can find free mediation services, whereas legal actions will involve a lawyer and court fees.

One thing to note here is that the mediator will not compromise the privacy and confidentiality of the mediation process. The parties involved will sign a confidentiality agreement before the first mediation session, and if both parties agree, they can also keep the outcome confidential.

Serving the claim

[You will need to serve a sealed copy of your relevant claim documents to the respondent as soon as possible. You may either send it via email, where you attach the documents in PDF or Word format to the recipient’s email, which will require a response from the same e-mail. However, the court will not consider an automated response from the recipient’s email service as a reply or acknowledgment of the claim.

Another option is to send via Australia Post, where you send the documents to the recipient’s residential address. The sender should keep proof of posting the documents, such as the Article Lodgement Receipt showing the recipient received the document at the post office. 

Moreover, you must show proof of delivery. You can do this by taking a printout of Australia Post’s online tracking facility to show that the envelope reached the address at the mentioned time. Additionally, you must also state the tracking number from your online tracking printout in the Affidavit of Proof of Service

Time limitations for responses from the respondent

When you issue a notice of claim or a Letter of Demand, the respondent will only have 21 days to respond to the claims before you file a formal claim in court. If the respondent receives your notice of claim with your written intention to commence legal action, then the respondent must send a written response within 21 days.

The written response must include the respondent’s full name and address for service and whether they agree or disagree with your claims. In case of disagreement, they must specify the extent of disagreement and whether or not they intend to file a counter-claim. However, in many cases, it may also include an offer to settle the action through mediation

No response from respondent

If the respondent doesn’t respond within 28 days, then you can apply for default judgment in your favor without the need for a court hearing. You must complete an Application to Registrar-Sign Judgement and file it with the court with adequate proof. It is important that you include all relevant evidence that you may have before you file it with the court. Moreover, it must also include that you gave the debtor one final chance through your notice of claim and waited at least 28 days for a response.

The judgment is not valid if the respondent can show that they never received the claim. Hence, it is crucial that you find the recipient’s right address to ensure that they receive the claim. If you have any doubt about the address, then have a Sheriff’s Officer serve the claim for you.

If you seek default judgment, you must provide relevant quotes or invoices as well as a written schedule of costs that you need to recover. In the case that you do not attach the relevant quotes or invoices to prove the amount you’re claiming, or if you make a claim for an unspecified amount, then you may not request a default judgment. You must specify all your evidence and claims and ensure that they match the relevant documents before you file them with the court.

Deciding to take legal action

If none of the earlier steps are fruitful and you decide to take legal action, you will need to understand a few legal implications before proceeding. Depending on your situation, legal action may necessarily not be an option either. However, it is up to you to make an assessment of the pros and cons of filing your claim in court. 

Here are a few factors you should consider before making a claim in court:

Evidence & Legal Advice

You need to be able to prove your claim. You will require relevant documentation such as text messages, invoices, a letter or email, or witnesses who can testify that the claim is valid. However, it is crucial to understand that you will need concrete evidence and an experienced lawyer to represent your case to successfully prove your claim in court.

If you decide to take matters to court, there will be legal issues involved. Hence, if you have any doubt as to how a court may view your claim or the relevant documents needed, we recommend obtaining legal advice before you take any further actions.

Time & Legal Costs

You can get a matter in the Minor Civil Claims Court settled at any time. However, it will be months before an actual trial takes place if the other party is not in agreement with your claim. In such cases, you will need to take legal action to enforce the judgment legally. Even in such cases, enforcing judgment will take some time, and if the court orders the other party to pay you money, then they may pay the debt in installments instead of paying the full amount right away.

Moreover, you will need to pay legal costs if you decide to file a claim in court. As of 1 July 2022, it will cost you $162 to file a claim and another $162 if you need to file a counterclaim where appropriate. Moreover, there will also be other legal costs involved depending on the amount mentioned in your claim.

Another factor to consider is your relationship with the opposing party. Taking matters to court often creates hurdles and challenges in existing relationships, which many people choose to avoid. Moreover, you should also consider whether mediation or further negotiation might bring a more desirable result.

Talk to a United Legal Lawyer today

Here at United Legal, we have a dedicated team of experienced lawyers who are here to help you navigate the legal complexities involved with filing a claim. Moreover, we ensure your confidentiality and aim to resolve the matter through mediation or in court. 

However, even before filing a claim in court, it is important that you have an experienced lawyer who helps you write a notice of claim and gather relevant evidence to support your claim for a default judgment in case of no response. Getting your money back may be difficult and stressful, which is why United Legal lawyers take over the legal burdens and make the process simpler for our clients so they can get the justice they deserve.



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