You can lodge a contract dispute when someone has failed to perform their obligations according to the terms of a contract
Being involved in a matter can be a complex and costly process. You should seek legal advice before lodging a contract dispute claim. You can also speak to the other party to try and resolve the issue.
The steps below provide general information and do not cover all scenarios nor constitute legal advice.
You can lodge a contract dispute for:
- Payment of a debt
- The other party to perform the contract (specific performance)
- Restitution (compensation) when the other party has unjustly benefitted at your expense
If you are claiming $12,000 or less, the minor civil rules and costs scale will generally apply and a lawyer will not be able to represent you at the trial (subject to some exceptions).
What you need
If you are claiming $12,000 or less or the claim is genuinely not contestable you can either:
- Enter a summary of you claim into the form (less than 100 words); or
- Complete Form 1S Statement of Claim uploaded with Claim
If you are claiming more than $12,000 and you believe your claim is genuinely contestable you must complete Form 1S Statement of Claim uploaded with Claim. You will need to provide the details of your dispute, including:
- The amount of money you are claiming (if you are claiming damages or restitution)
- The nature of any other relief you are claiming and the total value of that relief (e.g. specific performance)
- The date(s) of the dispute
- Why you believe the other person will not perform their obligations according to the terms of the contract
- The correct names and addresses of all parties involved
- To answer all the questions marked with an asterisk ( * )
You will need to pay a fee for lodging this form using a credit/debit card.
See the Civil Court fees page for more information.
Before you begin
You may be required to file and serve file a final notice or serve a pre-action claim or pre-action notice of intention to commence an action before filing the claim or application. For more information click here for the Uniform Civil Rules.
How to lodge a contract dispute
- Log in to CourtSA
- Select "Start a new case" in the drop down field
- Then "Yes" if you know what you would like to do
- Select "Claim" in the case type drop down field
- Read the information in the blue information box then click the "Lodge a claim" button
- On the form when asked "What is your main claim type?", select "Contract dispute"
- Complete the form and click proceed
- Upload your Form 1S (if required)
- Complete the online payment process
- Once your claim has been paid for, you will receive a receipt confirmation
- To view your claim document once it is approved, go to "My Cases" and click on the "My existing cases" tab
- Select the "View Case" in the Action column
- The summary screen will display a case details panel and parties panel
- To download and print a copy of your Claim to serve, click the "Documents" tab and then the Claim hyperlink within the Filed Documents panel
What happens next
Your claim will be automatically approved (unless you are a self-represented litigant in the District or Supreme Courts).
Using the information you provided, CourtSA will generate the following:
- A sealed Form 1 Claim (with Form 1S Statement of Claim Uploaded with Claim if uploaded)
- Multilingual Notice
- A Form 34 Notice to Party Served - Interstate (if one of the Respondents has an interstate address)
- A Form 35 Notice to Party Served - New Zealand (if one of the Respondents has a New Zealand address)
You will receive an email from CourtSA letting you know the forms listed above are available on CourtSA along with information about what happens next.
If you are a self-represented litigant in the District or Supreme Courts
If you are a self-represented litigant in the District or Supreme Courts, you will receive an email from CourtSA letting you know that your claim has been received for review by the Court.
If it is accepted for filing:
CourtSA will generate the forms listed above. You will receive an email from CourtSA letting you know that your claim has been approved, and that the forms listed above are available on CourtSA.
If it is rejected:
You will receive an email from CourtSA explaining why your claim was rejected and your lodgement fee will be refunded to the credit/debit card you used to pay.