How to file a Defence
This demonstration will briefly show you how to file a defence to a statement of claim made against you (without legal representation), which can be filed online via the NSW Online Registry.
This NSW Online Registry video will step you through the process for filing a Defence form, including steps to:
- Add yourself to the case
- Complete the form online
- Enter your pleading details
You can click on any dot point on screen now to skip ahead to that section of the video.
[Hyperlinks display onscreen]
[The NSW Online Registry - Search Case list screen displays]
Before you can file a Defence form on the Online Registry, you must first add yourself to the case.
[a pop up displays a sample Statement of claim].
If you’re representing yourself, you will need a copy of the original Statement of Claim, which will contain the case number, and a barcode.
Legal Professionals will only require the case number.
To add yourself to the case, click Find your case, and follow the steps.
Once you’ve added yourself, you may be prompted to file the defence form. Alternatively, you can search for the case and click the file form icon beside the case name to locate, and then open, the Defence form.
[The first screen from the defence form is displayed]
A Defence form, (UCPR form 7A/7B) is used to contest a claim that’s been made against you (or your business or organisation) that you do not agree with, and you want to have it decided in Court.
Your defence has to be filed within 28 days of you being served with the Statement of Claim. Your defence form filed with the Court should contain the facts you will be relying on to deny the claim against you when in court.
If you require additional legal support, please contact LawAccess NSW or see information about filing a Defence on the Law Assist website.
Start by selecting your filing method preference.
You can either upload a completed PDF version of the form, or you can fill out the answers online.
For this example, we’ll be filling out the answers online, and we’ll be completing this form on behalf of ourselves, meaning we do not have legal representation.
However, if you want to file a defence online on behalf of a client, you will still complete the same steps that are outlined in this demonstration
[user clicks Fill out the answers online]
Click Next to continue
[The ‘Case details’ screen displays]
The case details screen is pre-populated with the information entered from the original Statement of Claim
Help is provided throughout this form and can be viewed by clicking the blue help icons.
If you frequently file forms or deal with multiple forms and cases, you may wish to enter your own reference code. You can use this code to search for the form later on.
Click Next to continue
[The ‘Filed for’ screen displays]
All the defendants listed on the Statement of Claim will display on this screen, however you will only be able to select yourself from the list, as you are filing this defence on behalf of yourself
[user clicks their name from the list]
If the address listed on the Statement of Claim is not your current postal address, you must change this here. It’s important to keep the court records up to date with your correct postal address.
[user select ‘Yes’ to the question; Is the party’s address different to the Statement of Claim?]
If you select Yes then the necessary address fields will be displayed. Be sure to complete all mandatory fields before clicking Next.
Otherwise, click No
[User clicks ‘No’]
then click Next to continue
[The Pleadings Details screen displays]
Now you will need to enter the pleading. Pleadings set out the facts of the defence. It should be concise, but must contain enough information for the plaintiff to understand the defence.
If you attach the pleading details, the pleading should be set out in numbered paragraphs. If the pleading is over 2000 characters, you should include it as an attachment when prompted.
If it’s less than 2000 characters, select No then type your pleading directly into the online form.
[user enters sample text into field onscreen]
When you’ve entered your pleading details (or attached them in a PDF document), click Next to continue
You should now check the details you’ve provided in this form. It’s important to check the form before clicking submit to ensure all the information is accurate before you attend court.
Click View / Print form to view a draft version of the form in PDF format
If you need to make any changes, click Edit form
When you are satisfied that all the information is accurate and complete, click Submit
Once submitted, it should only take a few minutes for the court to formally approve your submission (although in some instances it may take up to 10 minutes)
When accepted you will receive an email to confirm your submission
[A sample email is displayed onscreen]
This email will confirm your submission was formally accepted by the Court, and will contain the court approved Defence form, which is a PDF document enclosed in a zip file.
The court approved Defence form will also be available online via the Online Registry website
[The sample court approved Defence form displays onscreen]
The approved court form will contain the court seal and a barcode, and will also contain the defence pleading details.
It will also contain details about when you should attend court. When you attend court, you must bring a printed copy of the Defence form, and the Statement of Claim that was originally served on you.
If you need additional legal support prior to attending court, you should contact Law Access NSW
[thank you screen displays]
Thank you for watching. To access the Online Registry, go to onlineregistry.lawlink.nsw.gov.au
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