Check that you are starting the right proceedings, within the specified time limit.
Proceedings in Class 8 of the Court’s jurisdiction may be commenced either by summons or statement of claim, depending on the nature of the proceedings and orders claimed.
Class 8 proceedings are civil proceedings governed by the
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.
Part 6 of these rules specifies how civil proceedings are to be commenced, including where a statement of claim or summons is required. Amongst the proceedings which are appropriate to be commenced by summons are proceedings (other than proceedings on a claim for damages) on any application made under any Act, proceedings for a declaration of right or for an injunction, proceedings in which the sole or principal question at issue is the construction of a statute, statutory instrument or document or some other question of law, or proceedings in which there is unlikely to be a substantial dispute of fact (
Pt 6 r 6.4).
There are two different forms of summons or statement of claim, one for a party that is legally represented (Summons
Form 4A (version 3) or Statement of Claim (
Form 3A (version 4)) and another for a party acting in person or by an authorised agent (Summons
Form 4B (version 3) or Statement of Claim (
Form 3B (version 4)).
There is a court filing fee that has to be paid to the Court to commence Class 8 proceedings. The amount of the filing fee depends on whether the applicant is a natural person or a corporation. The range of fees is specified in the
Schedule of Court fees.
Class 8 proceedings can be commenced by filing the required number of copies of the completed summons or statement of claim and paying the Court’s filing fee at the Court’s registry on Level 4, 225 Macquarie Street, Sydney or by posting the required number of copies of the completed summons or statement of claim and payment of the filing fee to the Court at GPO Box 3565, Sydney, NSW 2001. The required number of copies is three copies if there is one respondent, four copies if there are two respondents and an additional copy for each additional respondent.
In addition, all Local Courts throughout New South Wales act as agents for the Land and Environment Court. A summons or statement of claim can be filed and the filing fee paid at any Local Court registry. The Local Court registry staff will give a receipt for the payment of the filing fee and will forward the papers to the Land and Environment Court for processing.
The Court will process the summons or statement of claim at the Court’s registry. The summons or statement of claim will be recorded in the Court’s record system and stamped as having been filed with the Court. The date, time and place of the first directions hearing before the Court will be set and written by the Court’s staff on each of the copy of the summons or statement of claim. The first directions hearing will usually be on a Monday, on a scheduled Class 8 directions hearing date, about 5 weeks after the date of filing of the summons or statement of claim.
The Court’s registry will keep one copy of the summons or statement of claim for the Court’s file and return the other copies of the summons or statement of claim to the applicant. One of the returned copies is for the applicant to keep and the other copies are to be served on each respondent to the proceedings. In mining matters in the nature of judicial review, the respondents will be the public authority (including a public officer) responsible for the decision or conduct to be reviewed and any person interested in maintaining the decision to be reviewed, such as the person to whom some form of approval has been granted by the decision to be reviewed.
A stamped copy of the summons or statement of claim needs to be served on each respondent to the proceedings, within 7 days of filing. The Court has prepared a
guide for the service of documents for self-represented litigants. The guide explains what is meant by service of documents and how this is to be undertaken.
After the applicant serves the summons or statement of claim, each respondent needs to acknowledge service and register its desire to take part in the proceedings. This is known as filing a
notice of appearance. Each respondent needs to complete and file with the Court, and serve on the applicant, a notice of appearance.