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Service of Legal Documents


The legal service of documents in Victoria is often a simple, yet critical part of any Commercial Litigation or Civil Dispute.


Service of legal documents

A Court proceeding begins by filing a statement of claim or writ in a Court of competent jurisdiction. In Victoria, most matters are filed in the Magistrate’s Court, and the more serious and high value matters are filed in the County or Supreme Court.


The statement of claim is required to be sent to the defendant/respondent by way of ‘personal service’. This typically involves:

  • Leaving a copy of the document with the person; or

  • If the person does not accept the documents, putting it down in the person’s presence and telling them what the document is.

If the defendant/respondent is a corporation, service of legal documents can be performed by:

  • Leaving a copy of the document at, or posting it to, the company’s registered office;

  • By personal service on a director or secretary of a company who resides in Australia; or

  • By leaving the document at the last known address of an administrator or liquidator of a company from the ASIC records.

Once served, the defendant/respondent only has a limited time to file a defence to the claim.


In Victoria these times vary depending on which Court the matter has been filed in. If the defendant/respondent does not file a defence in time, the other party may apply for a default judgment.


A default judgement essentially means that the plaintiff/applicant succeeds on their claim by ‘default’ as the other party has failed to file the required documents in time. While it is possible for the defendant/respondent to apply to have the default judgment set aside, you need to have a good reason for not filing documents, a valid defence to the case, and valid reasons why the court should not have made the order against you.

It is often best to contact your solicitor promptly if:


  • You need to initiate legal proceedings;

  • You have not received a response to your legal proceedings and need to apply for default judgement;

  • You have been served with a statement of claim or writ, and need to file a defence;

  • You have had a default judgement entered against you and would like to have it set aside.

The Civil lawyers and Commercial Litigation Lawyers at Kapadia and Gordon Lawyers are highly skilled and experienced with Civil and Commercial Litigation disputes.


Please contact Kapadia and Gordon lawyers today on +61 402 52 6031 or via www.kapadialegal.com for more information.


This article is provided for the purposes of general information and is not legal advice. If you have a Civil or Commercial Litigation Dispute, please contact us directly for tailored specific legal advice.

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