Legal Terminology

A citation under the authority of the Court to the Defendant (debtor) to attend on a specified date to answer a charge taken by the Claimant (creditor). Upon receipt of a summons the defendant has 21 days to lodge a defence.

A defendants formal advice to the court that they are not prepared to admit the creditor’ Claim. [Defended matters under $5000 will usually be transferred to the Small Claims division of the Magistrates Court (Civil Division), other matters will remain in the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court. Most Claims proceed to Judgment without a defence being lodged – quite simply businesses do not spend money issuing legal action on an account unless it is owed.

If no defence is filed with the court the plaintiff is entitled to request the court to enter a default Judgment. The Judgment is recognition by the court that the debt is due, and empowers the plaintiff to seek recovery of the debt with the authority of the court. This may be done by a number of means.

Warrant of Execution
An instruction by the court to the Bailiff to take possession of goods, and to sell those goods to satisfy the debt. The Bailiff will not seize any object which may be considered as tools of trade, clothing, bedding or basic household effects.

An instruction from the court to a paymaster to deduct regular installments from the debtor’s wage and to pay these to the Court. Where the debtor is known to work on a contract basis a Money Due Garnishee may be issued ordering the party for whom the debtor contracts to pay all money owed, (up to the amount of the debt) directly to the court.