Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Amended Magistrates Court Civil Rules

On 1 June, 2020, changes will be made to the Magistrates Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 and the Magistrates Court (Minor Case Procedure) Rules 2005 (“Rules of Court”).

Purpose of Legislative Amendments

The Magistrates Court was established under the Magistrates Court Act 2004, and the court’s civil jurisdiction came into being on 1 May, 2005, under the Rules of Court. Since the civil jurisdiction was established, it has remained largely unchanged.

General Procedure Rules

The amendments to the General Procedure Rules of Court are designed to:

  • allow greater flexibility for the Court and the parties to shape their actions;
  • simplify the procedure for pleading the Statement of Claim and Statement of Defence, and to streamline the approach to those procedures adopted in Superior Courts;
  • remove unnecessary forms and procedures;
  • to encourage the magistrate to prepare the case for trial, in a way that allows the magistrate hear and determine the case; and
  • amend the processes surrounding assessment of damages (for default judgments on unliquidated claims).

Please refer to the amended General Procedure Flowchart setting out how civil matters will progress through the Magistrates Court under the amended General Procedure.

Minor Case Procedure Rules

The amendments to the Minor Case Procedure Rules of Court are designed to:

  • streamline the minor case procedure;
  • allow for early intervention of the magistrates;
  • encourage the magistrates to facilitate settlements; and
  • accelerate the pace at which Minor Case matters proceed through the court.

Please refer to the amended Minor Case Procedure Flowchart setting out how civil matters will progress through the Magistrates Court under the amended Minor Case Procedure.

Transitional Cases

Cases that have been commenced but have not been concluded by 1 June, 2020 are known as “transitional cases”. Transitional provisions have been included in the amended Rules of Court to cover transitional cases.

The transitional provisions provide that:

  • the amended Rules of Court apply to all new and transitional cases from 1 June, 2020;
  • Every document lodged or served in relation to a civil case (under the former Rules of Court) is taken to be lodged or served under the corresponding provision of the amended Rules of Court;
  • Every order made, direction given, or action taken by the Court or by a registrar (under the former Rules of Court) is taken to have been made under the corresponding provision of the amended Rules of Court;
  • If a party is required under the former Rules of Court to lodge a prescribed document or attend a prescribed hearing (Statement of Claim; Counterclaim; Third Party Claim; Response to Claim; Statement of Defence; Pre- Trial Conference; Listing Conference Memorandum; or Trial) on a day after 1 June, 2020, the former Rules of Court shall continue to operate until:

    1. the Court or a registrar directs that the case be transitioned to the amended Rules of Court; or
    2. the case is concluded.

The Court may act on its own initiative to list a transitional case for a Status Conference, to transition the case to be dealt with in accordance with the amended Rules of Court.

At a status conference, pre-trial conference, listings conference, or trial held in relation to a transitional case, the Court or a registrar may also make directions regarding:

  1. the rules that are to apply in relation to the case and the duration for which they are to apply;
  2. modify the application of the amended Rules of Court in relation to the case; or
  3. make any other direction necessary or convenient in connection with the application of amended Rules of Court in relation to the case.

Civil Forms

As a result of the amended Rules of Court, changes have been made to the Magistrates Court forms.

The correct form/s to lodge with the Court will depend on whether your case is a “transitional case” or a case commenced after 1 June, 2020.

Guided Forms

The information provided under this section is designed to inform members of the public about the amended forms and procedure in the Magistrates Court civil jurisdiction, under the Minor Case Procedure.

The worked examples below do not set out all of the information that must be known to commence or defend proceedings in this jurisdiction. This information may be found in:

  • the legislation and rules governing the Magistrates Court;
  • the legislation and regulations governing particular types of actions and applications in the Magistrates Court; and
  • Decisions of the Magistrates Court, and superior Courts.

The information provided below is general in nature and should be used as a guide only. This information should not be used, relied on, or treated as a substitute for independent legal advice that takes into account the unique circumstances of your case.

Case Statement (Claim) Example

Defence Example

Amended Civil Fact Sheets

As a result of the amended Rules of Court, changes have been made to the Magistrates Court Fact Sheets.

There are two versions of the Fact Sheets available in the Magistrates Court. The correct Fact Sheet for your case will depend on whether your case is a “transitional case” or a case commenced after 1 June, 2020.

The Civil Fact Sheets Sheets are divided into two section on the page, Civil Matters Commenced Prior to 1 June 2020 and Fact Sheets - Civil Matters Commenced on or after 1 June 2020.

Lodgment

Any forms that have been created as a result of the amended Rules are available to be eLodged on the eCourts Portal, or by other approved methods under the Magistrates Court (General) Rules 2005.

Forms that were available under the current CP and MCP Rules will remain available on the Magistrates Court website, and will be available for lodgement over the counter, facsimile, post, or by complete upload on the eCourts Portal.

eLodgment

Electronic filing in the civil jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court is now available, and should be utilised where possible to limit your need to attend Magistrate Court locations in person.

The Court’s ECMS is the electronic case management system for managing proceedings in all Western Australian courts and tribunals and is available through the eLodgment system on the eCourts Portal for use by the legal profession, government agencies and self-represented litigants.

Proceedings in the Court’s civil jurisdiction are commenced by filing originating documents. Once commenced other documents can also be filed using the ECMS. Filing fees are paid online and all court orders and listings can be accessed electronically by parties to the proceedings.

Benefits of eLodgment include the ability to lodge civil procedure applications and forms electronically. Access court documents and court orders 24/7. View online all civil procedure matters that you, or your client are linked to and receive court documents and court orders electronically.

Register for eLodgment


Last updated: 9-Jun-2020

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