Published: Sun, Apr 30th, 2017
Recent changes in the law have extended the jurisdiction of the District Court so it can now hear claims of up to $350,000.00. Previously, any claims for over $200,000.00 were dealt with in the High Court.
If a claim against, or a dispute with, a person or organisation cannot be resolved then sometimes people are left with no choice but to bring proceedings in the District Court in order to resolve matters.
A claim begins when the party bringing the claim (named the plaintiff) files a statement of claim in the District Court closest to where the other party (named the defendant) lives. Once the statement of claim is processed by the Court the paperwork then needs to be served on the defendant.
If the defendant disagrees with the claim and wishes to defend it they have 25 working days to file a statement of defence. If the defendant does not file a defence then judgment can be entered against them. If a statement of defence is filed, the Court will arrange a first case management conference where a judge will decide what is to happen next. Generally speaking, a judge will direct that the parties attend a Judicial Settlement Conference.
Judicial Settlement Conferences are a round table meeting between the parties and a judge and are designed to try and facilitate resolution between the parties. If the matter does not settle the process continues towards a hearing.
The litigation team at Turner Hopkins is on hand to help clients through the District Court process. We pride ourselves on our ability to guide clients through the process and give practical advice. Court proceedings can become drawn out, expensive and stressful so we always seek to find practical and sensible solutions to resolve disputes so our clients are satisfied with the result and have incurred the least amount of cost possible.