Once your LegalVision team has filed your statement of claim, the other side has 28 days, from the day you served the documents, to file a defence. If the other side fails to file the defence within that time period, you will then be able to make an application for a default judgment. 

When the defence is filed, you will have an opportunity to understand the argument that the other side plans to make against you. It also gives you the chance to see where you may agree on some facts and disagree about others.

What is a Defence?

A defence can look very similar to a statement of claim and is usually called a ‘pleading’. The defence must follow rules of the court, just as a statement of claim does. In particular, it has to address each allegation in one of three ways:

  1. admit the allegation;
  2. deny the allegation; or
  3. non-admission – where they believe the allegation is outside their knowledge and they are unable to admit or deny it. 

If the defence is found to be unreasonable, it can be ‘struck out’. This means that the defence is not able to be used as it does not follow the court rules. The other side will then have to amend the defence and refile it. 

What Will My LegalVision Team Be Doing? 

Once the LegalVision team receives the defence, they will be reviewing it and considering the strength of the other side’s arguments. As part of the process of drafting the statement of claim, your LegalVision team would have been anticipating the other side’s response. This will make reviewing it an easier process.

Your LegalVision team will also be seeking instructions and comments from you about the claims the other party has made.

What Do I Need To Do?

If you are at this stage of the proceedings, there are a few things that your LegalVision team may need you to do. This includes:

  1. providing instructions  you may need to provide instructions or comments on the defence that the other side has served;
  2. considering an offer of settlement – your LegalVision team may discuss other options, such as making an offer to settle the case. There can be many benefits to settling that you and your legal team will consider together.

This article is part of a larger publication on the NSW Local Court Process. To read about the next step in the NSW Local Court process, click here.

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