This fact sheet is for information only. It is recommended that you get legal advice about your situation.
Download our printer friendly version here (PDF): Transferring Courts
In some circumstances, the plaintiff (the person or company making a claim against you) will commence court action at a Local Court in NSW that is a fair distance away from you. It may be in a different part of the city or another town from where you live. If Court action is commenced in a Local Court that is far away from where you live or work, you can request a change of venue. This fact sheet describes how to do this.
If the Local Court is reasonably close to you, you will probably not be successful in changing Local Courts. You must demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist if you are trying to transfer to a court less than 100km away from the original court.
NOTE: If court proceedings have been commenced against you in another state (and you live in NSW) GET LEGAL ADVICE.
WHAT CAN I DO TO REQUEST THAT COURT PROCEEDINGS BE MOVED TO A LOCAL COURT CLOSER TO ME?
To make this request you must:
- Complete and lodge a Notice of Motion (Form 20) asking to transfer proceedings in the Local Court.
- Forms can be found at lawlink.nsw.gov.au – follow the links to Court Forms, Local Courts, and Civil forms (or search the web for “UCPR forms”).
- Complete and lodge an Affidavit to support your Notice of Motion to Transfer Local Court Proceedings (Form 40).
- File a defence. See Fact Sheet: Filing A Defence.
All of the above forms must be lodged at the same time and within 28 days of the date you receive the Statement of Claim.
HOW DO I COMPLETE A NOTICE OF MOTION TO TRANSFER PROCEEDINGS IN THE LOCAL COURT?
Fill in the details as prompted by the form
- Under the heading “orders sought” you are required to state the venue you wish the proceedings to be transferred to. To find out which Local Courts are in your area you should ring your nearest Local Court which can be located in the White Pages.
- Under the heading “Affidavit” the form prompts you to name the venues of local courts that are closest to you and to explain why you believe the change of venue is necessary or that it is more appropriate for your case to be heard at the other court.
For example under point 3, you are asked to name the Local court nearest to:
- where you live (including where you lived when the cause of action in the proceedings started if that was different to where you currently live)
- where your place of business is or where you are employed, and again if this is different from when the proceedings started
- where the cause of action for the proceedings started
Example: You signed a contract for a mobile phone, but the phone never worked. You work in Parramatta, you live in Penrith and bought a phone at your local shopping centre. If you were sued in the Newcastle Local Court, you would apply to transfer the matter to the Penrith Local court.
The affidavit would look like:
- I am the [defendant].
- These proceedings have not been commenced in an appropriate Local Court.
- The appropriate Local Courts for the purposes of rule 44.1(1) of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 are:
- [Penrith], which is the Local Court nearest to the place where I am resident
- [Penrith], which is the Local Court nearest to the place where I was resident at the time the cause of action in the proceedings arose
- [Penrith], which is the Local Court nearest to the place where the cause of action in the proceedings arose.
- [Any further reasons why you are are requesting a transfer].
Then you will need to have it signed by yourself and a witness.
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
A Defendant can apply to change the location where the proceedings are to be heard by filing a Notice of Motion supported by an Affidavit within 28 days of being served with the Statement of Claim. After completing the form you will need to take the form to a Justice of the Peace or Solicitor to swear or affirm the truth of the document and then sign it in front of them.
Make 2 copies of the Notice of Motion and Affidavit.
Take the Notice of Motion, Affidavit and Defence to your Local Court. There is no fee to do this. The Local Court will stamp all of the forms and keep the original copy and give the rest of the stamped forms back to you.
- Immediately post the following to the Plaintiff:
- One copy of the stamped Notice of Motion and Affidavit; and
- One copy of the stamped Defence
Keep the third copy of each document for your own records.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE FORMS HAVE BEEN LODGED IN THE LOCAL COURT?
The Plaintiff has 14 days to file an affidavit:
- Selecting another court venue (listed at point 6 of Notice of Motion); or
- Denying that any of the Court venues you have nominated are appropriate and requesting that the Venue stay the same.
The Court will then decide in which Court it is appropriate for the case to be heard. This will usually be after your first court date is scheduled at the original court, but if the court decides to change the venue, the court registrar will reschedule the attendance at the new venue and notify you.
The Court may order that either you or the Plaintiff pay for the other side’s legal costs as a result of this motion. Generally this is limited to $150 in the Small Claims Division or $300 in the General Division.
In most cases, the court will order “costs in the cause.” This means that the costs will be determined at the end of the proceedings after all the issues have been considered and decided. See Also Fact Sheet: Filing a Defence.
NEED SOME MORE HELP?
See Fact Sheet: Getting Help for a list of additional resources.
Last Updated: February 2017