If you are in dispute with another party, and it has escalated to court, you will typically begin the process by filing a statement of claim. A statement of claim is a summary of the facts supporting your case. If you fail to set out your claim correctly, either the court or the other side can require you to re-issue your statement of claim. This will cause delays to the court hearing your case. This article discusses four important functions that a statement of claim serves.

1. It Gets the Ball Rolling

After you or your lawyer have drafted a statement of claim, it will be filed with the court and served on the other party to the dispute. Filing a statement of claim starts the process of going to court. It puts the matter into the court’s system and allows the case to be listed for a hearing later on. Furthermore, a statement of claim sets out the parties in the proceedings.

For example, is explicates whether the defendant is an individual or corporation.

2. It Sets out the Details of the Dispute

A statement of claim also sets out the basis on which you are taking legal action by providing details of the dispute. These details are referred to as ‘pleadings and particulars’. 

Pleadings are the facts you will be relying on to prove your case.

For example, if the matter is a breach of contract, the pleadings in the statement of claim will need to state that there was a contract between the parties.

Particulars are the supporting details of the pleaded facts.

For example, for a matter on a breach of contract, the particulars might detail that the parties entered into a verbal agreement on 4 January 2017. 

Pleadings and particulars make it clear to the court and the other party exactly what facts are going to be tested in court. They also confine the scope of the case to just those facts listed. This means that a party will have to stick to them when arguing their case before the court.

3. It Specifies What You’re Asking For

Another important function that a statement of claim serves is to specify what outcome you are asking for. A common type of outcome is the award of compensation (known as damages). The court awards damages when you have lost money because of the defendant’s actions.

The purpose of damages is to put a party back into the position it would have been in had the other party not caused the loss.

For instance, a plaintiff has lost a certain amount of money because of the defendant’s breach of the contract. A court may then award damages against the defendant to pay for that specific amount that the plaintiff lost.

A statement of claim will always nominate the outcome that you seek. If it is for a sum of money, you will often need to provide details to show how they calculated the amount.

4. It Gives the Other Side an Opportunity to Respond

As mentioned above, to commence legal proceedings, a statement of claim is filed with the court and served on the other party. In most circumstances, defendants will have 28 days from the date of service to respond to the claim.

A party served with a statement of claim may reply in a number of different ways.

For example, they may offer to resolve the dispute before it progresses any further in the court system by providing the compensation that the plaintiff seeks.

Alternatively, a responding party may file a defense. In this case, the matter is likely to proceed to a hearing or trial.

Regardless of the anticipated response, the other party is given this opportunity to consider how it should respond.

Key Takeaways

If you wish to begin legal proceedings, you will need to file a statement of claim. A statement of claim serves many purposes, including that it:

  • begins the court process;
  • details the dispute;
  • outlines your ideal outcome; and
  • allows the other party to respond.

If you have any questions or need assistance with filing a statement of claim, contact LegalVision’s litigation lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page. 

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