File a Defence or Appearance

If someone has started legal action against you and you disagree with those claims, you can take steps to defend yourself online.

The form that you need to file will depend on whether:

  • you were served with a Statement of Claim or Cross Claim, or 
  • you were served with a Summons or Cross Summons, or
  • an Application Class 1,2,3 (Form B) has been filed against you in the Land and Environment Court.

If you were served with a Statement of Claim or Cross Claim, you need to file a Defence. If you need more details about the claim being made against you before you write your Defence, you can ask the plaintiff for more information.

You will need to file a Defence (UCPR form 7A/7B) if you do not agree with a claim and want to have it decided in court. The Defence contains the facts you will be relying on to deny the plaintiff’s or cross claimant’s claim at the hearing. If you do not know which facts to include, you should get legal information and advice.

How to file

To file a Defence, log into your account, and follow the instructions by clicking 'Find your case' under the 'Not in your case list' box. Once the case is in your list, click the form icon, and you will see a link to the Defence form.

Watch this short video about how to fill out the form.

Some Defences in the District and Supreme Courts have to be verified by affidavit (a statement which is sworn or affirmed before a witness).

If you were served with a Summons or an Application Class 1,2, 3 (Form B), you need to file an Appearance. You should note that there are time limits to filing a Defence or Appearance. These time limits are specified within the forms. Login and follow the prompts and enter case details under 'Not in your case list?' to file an Appearance.

After you have filed 

The Defence or Appearance will be listed for hearing before the court. The PDF that is emailed back to you with the sealed form will also contain a Notification of Listing.

You will need to print out both the sealed Defence or Appearance form and the Notice of Listing, and serve both on the opposing party.