Video 1 – Starting a Court Case

Before you go to court there are a number of things you should consider in deciding whether to commence legal action. You must have:

  1. cause of action,
  2. the necessary standing to bring the case,
  3. damages and loss that the court will recognise,
  4. sufficient evidence, and
  5. capacity.

You also must be inside the required limitation period (including the rules about calculating time and applying for an extension of time).

Remember, the usual rule in litigation is that the party that is unsuccessful pays the successful party’s legal costs. (See our factsheet on offers to settle for the potential costs consequences of offers).

Resources from this video

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Before going to court, you should think about some form of ADR such as mediation. If you and the other party can come together, a mutually agreed solution can have a number of advantages over a decision imposed by the Court. Even if you have commenced court proceedings, you should continue to consider ADR to resolve your dispute.


In the Queensland Courts you can commence proceedings in court by Claim or Application. In most cases you will need to draft a Statement of Claim. This is the document that sets out the facts that you rely on to establish your case.

Starting court proceedings requires a number of steps. The pleadings are the key documents that set out the terms of the legal dispute between the parties. The main pleadings are the Statement of Claim, the Defence and the Reply. The Statement of Claim is the document that sets out the facts that you rely on to establish your case. Once your documents are ready you will need to pay the required filing fee (fee reductions are sometimes available), file the documents and serve them on the other party.

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