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After you have lodged your application

When the respondent chooses to defend themselves

The respondent might not agree with your case and decide to argue their side of the story.

They have 28 days from the date they were served with your form to lodge their response to your application at the QCAT registry or their local Magistrates Court.

To do this they will need to prepare and file a QCAT Form 7 - Response to minor civil dispute - minor debt, which is available on the QCAT website. You can see a sample of this form in Sample forms and documents.

In a response, the other party outlines facts which try to disprove the original application. For example, you stated "the contract is a written document dated 1 July 2016", the other party may say "I deny the contract was a written document dated 1 July 2016 because the copy of the contract is signed and dated 1 July 2015".

If the respondent doesn’t respond within 28 days

Wait 28 days after the application has been served on the respondent, then call the tribunal to see if the respondent has filed a response. If they have not filed a response, the tribunal can make an order without hearing the evidence from the respondent. This is called a default decision.

To ask for a default decision (also called a judgment), lodge the following forms:

If the respondent has made any payments after you lodged your application, make that clear in your Affidavit in support of a request for a decision by default.

If the tribunal makes an order, they will send a copy of the order to you and the respondent.

You should send the respondent a copy of the order and ask for immediate payment. If the respondent still does not pay the debt, you have enforcement options. You should get legal advice about this.

Reaching an agreement

Even after you have lodged an application, it is never too late to reach agreement. Reaching agreement may save both sides time, money and inconvenience.

In most cases, if your application involves $1500 or less, your matter will proceed directly to a hearing.

If your application involves more than $1500, both parties (you and the respondent) will then receive a notice to attend mediation. The notice includes the date, time and location of mediation. The aim of mediation is to get all parties to reach an agreement.

If your matter is not settled at mediation then it will proceed to a hearing.

If you do settle the matter, your mediator will help you to advise the tribunal and confirm the terms of the agreement in writing.

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