Civil and Money Matters FAQ

How do I have a court hearing adjourned/postponed?

Any listing of a matter can only be adjourned or postponed by the following means:

  • The filing of the written consent of all parties
  • An order of the Court upon the making of a Form 46A Application
What are the current scale of costs and video link fees?

The current scale of costs, Court fees and video link fees can be found under Practice and Procedure - Costs and Fees section of this website.

What is the procedure to apply for a rehearing?

An Application for Rehearing is heard before a Magistrate or Judicial Registrar in open Court. Only final orders made in your absence can be set aside by a rehearing application. Final orders made when you were present in Court can only be overturned by appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

If successful, your application overturns the Final Order previously made. This allows the proceeding to go on to hearing on a later date. A further hearing date will be set down by the Court after a successful application.

If you have found your name on Credit Reference list even though you have paid the debt in full, the only way to remove this record is to make application for rehearing and convince a Magistrate that the final order should not have been made against you.

When applying for a rehearing you must complete a Form 46B Application. You must clearly outline the grounds of your application within this document. You must clearly write the case number of your proceeding in the top right hand corner of the application form. The form must be signed by you in the space provided. Court staff will fill in the part of the form which sets out when and where the application will be heard – you should leave this area blank.

You must complete a sworn affidavit in support where the following details must be set out:

  • why you did not file and serve a Notice of Defence, or, 
  • why, after filing and serving a Notice of Defence you did not appear at the hearing when the final order was made; and, 
  • the full particulars of your defence to the claim made against you (extra pages can be added and attached if required) 

The affidavit in support must be sworn before a person authorised under Section 123(C) of the Evidence Act 1958 to witness affidavits - see related page "Who can receive Affidavits"

When you attend Court to have the application issued you should provide 3 copies of the application, along with the filing fee.

The Registrar will keep the original issued copy for the court file and return 2 copies to you.

One of these should be served on the other party and the other retained for your records.

You can mail these 3 copies of the application to the Court with the required fee to be issued.

The Court will return your 2 copies to you.

If there is a Warrant to Seize Property or other enforcement action in place against you, it will be put on hold until the rehearing application is decided by the Court.


You are required to serve a copy of your application and the affidavit in support on the other party at least 14 days prior to the hearing date set down by the Registrar. The papers must be served either personally or by post to that party’s address for service. The Registrar can confirm this address if you are in any doubt.

A Form 6A (Affidavit of Service) must be completed once you have served the documents on the other party. You must fill in the way you served them (either personally or by mail), the date they were served, the time they were served and the address at which they were served.

The Affidavit of Service must be sworn before an authorised person and filed with the Registrar prior to the hearing date.

If you do not put in your appearance with the Court Coordinator by 9.30am on the day of your application, it may be struck out. You may be liable for the other party's costs in these circumstances.

Please Note: If your application is listed at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, you should make your appearance to the Court 28 clerk on Level 6 by 9.30am.

How do I sue someone?

Before commencing legal proceedings it is strongly advised that you  seek advice from a lawyer.

A lawyer can advise you whether or not your dispute is something that should be pursued in the Court and secondly, can provide advice as to the strength of your case. This information can assist you in deciding whether or not to commence the Court case and risk the possibility of having to pay your own and the other party's legal costs if you are unsuccessful.

The legal advice described above cannot be provided by Court staff.

Proceedings are commenced in the Magistrates’ Court by the filing of a Form 5A Complaint document (see Civil Forms). The complaint must fully identify the parties to the proceeding, the cause of action (reasons for the complaint) and the specific orders you seek.

The complaint must be filed at Court with the required fee which can be found in the "Ready Reckoner" under Costs and Fees in the Related Pages on the right.

The Court will process the complaint and provide a coversheet which confirms the names of the parties, the date of filing and the allocated Case Number. Once the date of filing and case number has been endorsed, the complaint becomes valid for service on the other party or parties.

There are specific rules as to how a Form 5A Complaint may be served. You should seek the advice of a Registrar of the Court about these rules prior to serving the complaint.

What is the maximum jurisdiction of the Magistrates' Court?

The maximum jurisdiction of the Magistrates' Court is $100,000.00 for civil claims.

How do I file for Bankruptcy?

This information can be obtained from the Federal Magistrates' Court.

How long do I have to file a Notice of Defence?

A plaintiff is entitled to request the making of a Default Order if a Form 8A Notice of Defence (see Civil Forms) has not been filed within 21 clear days from the date of service of the Complaint. The Default Order request is determined by a Registrar without the need for a Court Hearing.

A Notice of Defence can be filed at any time after service of a complaint so long as a judgment has not been entered.

The safest course of action to is to ensure that the defence is filed with the Court and the plaintiff (or their legal representative) within 21 days of receiving the complaint document.

A Notice of Defence may be filed by fax.

What is the Penalty Interest Rate?

Parliament fixes an interest rate that accrues on all outstanding civil judgments of the Court. The amount of penalty interest due on a court judgment is calculated on the money ordered to be paid, backdated to the date the complaint was filed with the Court.

The relevant interest rate will apply until the amount outstanding is paid in full.

A Registrar can provide an interest calculation upon request. The current rate of interest can be found under 'Penalty Interest Rates' in the Related Pages menu.