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VIC Magistrates' Court eFiling Complaint Lodgement FAQ

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Table of contents

What should be entered in the Your Reference field?

Your Reference is a unique identifier of up to 12 characters chosen by you. The reference entered for a complaint will be used on future related Default Orders, Warrants to Seize Property and Summons to Attend for Oral Examination. Your Reference will appear on CITEC Confirm usage reports and tax invoices.

How can I use the Copy from Reference field?

You may find that some complaints closely resemble previously entered complaints. In these instances, you can 'copy' the information from one complaint to another. The Copy from Reference feature will copy everything from the original complaint except for the defendants and the claim amount. Copied information can be edited if further differences exist.

What information is required in a Complaint?

All the information normally required for a complaint is required for an electronic lodgement. Mandatory input fields can be found on the Claim, Primary Plaintiff, Defendant and Claim Description screen, identified by red asterisks.

Can the Type of Complaint and Cause of Action codes be used in any combination?

As with the manual lodgement of complaints, there are some rules regarding the possible combinations of complaint type and cause of action. Where the Type of Complaint is Instruments Act Complaint, DC and XV are the only valid Cause of Action codes. These 2 codes do not apply to Complaints or Complaints in the Industrial Division.

Are there any restrictions on the Court Location?

Some Court Locations are unable to accept Complaint Initiations and/or Default Orders, whether electronic or manual (see Court Location Codes for more information).

Does the incident location determine which court the case can be filed in?

No. When lodging manually, the incident location is a factor in determining the appropriate court. However, one of the advantages of electronic lodgement is that it does not validate the court selected against from the incident location or defendant address.

Is there an upper limit to the Claim Amount?

The upper limit for the Claim Amount for an electronically lodged Complaint is dependent on the Cause of Action. The upper limits are as follows:

"Claim under accident compensation" (CA) has a limit of $40,000.00
"Recovery of workcover premiums" (WP) has a limit of $999,999.00
Any other Cause of Action has an upper limit of $100,000.00

Default Orders over $100,000 can't be lodged electronically, unless the Cause of Action is "Recovery of workcover premiums" (WP). This limit should be considered when lodging complaints. The DOJ may reject these Complaints if they're over $100,000.

Can I issue a complaint without entering a Claim Amount?

Yes; enter 00.00 for the Claim Amount.

What Court Filing fee will I be charged for issuing a Complaint with the Claim Amount as 00.00?

The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria advises that the correct Court Filing fee for these Complaints will be the same as the fee payable for Complaints where the Claim Amount is over $40,000.00.

How many Plaintiffs or Defendants can I enter in one Complaint?

Up to 30 parties can be entered in any combination as long as the minimum requirement of at least 1 Plaintiff and 1 Defendant is met.

What should I enter in the Representative Capacity field for the Primary Plaintiff?

The example provided by the Magistrates Court of Victoria is "As administrator of the estate of....".

How do I enter multiple Plaintiffs?

The Primary Plaintiff must be entered before any parties are added as Secondary Plaintiffs. The Secondary Plaintiff screen has an <Add 4 More Plaintiffs> button that will reload the screen with 4 more blank parties at a time. As with the Primary Plaintiff, an existing Plaintiff Profile can be selected or the information can be entered manually.

How do I enter multiple Defendants?

The Defendant screen has an <Add 4 More Defendants> button that will reload the screen with 4 more blank parties at a time.

The Defendant screen also features a <Copy Address to Next Defendant> option to save repetitive entry. It is important to note that this feature will not copy the phone or fax details to the next defendant. This information must be entered separately for each defendant.

What contact details should I enter for a Plaintiff or Defendant?

The address details that you enter will appear on subsequent documents for the case. Although postal addresses are acceptable for organisations, a street address should always be used for an individual as documents can only be served on individuals in person.

How should I enter an Individual who also has business details?

Some individuals may be registered as businesses or companies. In these instances, complete the surname and given name and the ACN or trading name fields. The defendant's ACN or trading name must be entered if you wish to claim for search fees.

When should the Long Legal Name field be used?

The Long Legal Name field should only be used when the combination of the other name fields is not sufficient to record all relevant details. If entered, a long legal name will appear on documents in place of all other plaintiff / defendant name details. Therefore, it is essential that the long legal name field includes all the information to be displayed even though this will involve some repetition of previous entries.

Please note: the long legal name does not affect the calculation of fees, so a defendant's ACN or trading name will still need to be entered if search fees are being claimed.

Do Server details need to be entered when lodging a Complaint?

If you know who will be serving the documents, entering their details here will print them on the Affidavit of Service. Remember that you can create Profiles for servers that are used frequently and simply call up their details from this screen.

If you are not sure who will be serving the documents, leave the server tab clear and blank fields will be printed on the affidavit allowing you to enter the details by hand.

What kind of information can be entered in the Statement of Claim field?

This field allows you to enter free text or to paste in text copied from another locations such as a word document. The field will accept up to 30000 characters (approximately 12 - 15 pages). The Magistrates Court of Victoria have provided an example of the details required in the Statement of Claim field:

"Here set out in numbered consecutive paragraphs all the material facts relied on for the claim against the defendant including particulars of every fact or matter.

If the claim arises by or under any act, identify the specific provisions relied on. State specifically the amount or other relief or remedy sought. State the place where and the date when the claim arose.

If the claim arises out of a motor vehicle collision and the claim includes a claim for the costs of repairs to the vehicle or total loss of the vehicle, an itemised quotation of the costs of the repairs or an assessment of the loss (whichever is relevant) must be attached to this complaint."

Is it possible to enter 'Continuation of Statement of Claim, refer to attachment' in the Statement of Claim?

Yes, it is acceptable to enter 'Continuation of Statement of Claim, refer to attachment' in the Statement of Claim field. You are required to keep this information on file as the court may request it at a later date.

Where can I include a sketch for a Motor Vehicle Claim?

If you wish to include a sketch or map as part of the claim description in a motor vehicle related complaint, you can indicate its existence on your electronic complaint. Make a note in the claim location or claim description field to 'see attached sketch/map' and attach the original to your successful complaint. As with other documents acknowledged by a 'see attached' note, there is no need to file a physical copy with the court.

How are the fees calculated?

The fees for each Complaint are based on the claim amount and defendant details. Any changes to these details may effect the fees therefore it is important to check the fee tab after all other details have been confirmed. The default maximum claimable fees will be charged if no changes are made to this tab. The maximum claimable fees are determined by the DOJ.

When can I print the Complaint?

The Complaint can be printed as soon as it is returned from VIC Magistrates' Court successfully. Complaints submitted before 5:00pm will be returned prior to 10:00am the following business day.

For more information regarding printing successful complaints or following up on unsuccessful complaints, please see the VIC Magistrates' Court Overview.

Do I need to send a copy of the Complaint documents to the court?

The electronic agreement that you have signed with the Justice Department eliminates the need to deliver manual copies of the documents, such as the affidavit from a complaint, to the court. You should keep your (signed) original of the affidavit on file.