It’s 7 am, and you hear a loud knock on your front door. You open the door to be greeted by a man who says: “Ms Jones, are you the Defendant named in this Statement of Claim?” You respond “yes” and he hands you the Court sealed document. The effect of being personally served with the document (that was filed by the Plaintiff at the relevant court registry) is that it brings you into proceedings.
Confused and angry, you decide to either:
Destroy the document; or
Place it on your dining table and not proceed to take any action; or
Contact your lawyer immediately.
Correct you should contact your lawyer immediately (well we hope you chose answer (c))! If you do not take action within 28 days of being served with the Statement of Claim, the Plaintiff will seek to obtain a default judgement. A default judgment is a binding judgement that enables the Plaintiff to acquire the relief requested in his/her Statement of Claim. In this circumstance, you may ask how will the Court know the date that I was served – well the process server would have executed an affidavit of service and would have given it to the Plaintiff’s legal representative.
Essentially, by providing your lawyer with the Court document, he/she will be able to review it and advise you to:
make an application to have the Statement of Claim struck out because it is defective (example: it has named the incorrect Defendant); or
file and serve a defence on the Plaintiff by admitting, denying or not admitting to the pleadings.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the best criminal lawyers in Sydney on 1800 395 342.