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WA District Court Debt Claim - When Do I Have to Give Disclosure?

Discussion in 'Debt and Bankruptcy Law Forum' started by family woes, 7 September 2015.

  1. family woes

    family woes Member

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    My sister is taking me to the district court saying I owe her money. Can her lawyer ask for disclosure before a trial date has been set?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi familywoes,

    Yes this is a normal procedure for litigation. Both parties should exchange all documentary evidence that they intend to rely on to prove their case before trial. This is called "discovery" in WA.

    It is generally completed after pleadings have closed: i.e. after they have filed a claim, you have filed a defence and they have filed any response or reply to your defence. Usually each party will provide the other will a list of their documents that they will rely on and the other party can request that you provide copies of those documents to them.

    Here is a little more information on discovery in WA: Check out part 8 http://www.districtcourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Final copy Procedure Guide Unrep Litigants 17.5.12.pdf
     
  3. family woes

    family woes Member

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    Thank you for your reply it's hard when you can't afford a lawyer. They had until tomorrow to set a trial date I was going to ask court to dismiss case can I still do this
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Family Woes,

    What do you mean by "dismiss the case"? What basis do you believe you have for doing this?

    If you don't want to go ahead to a trial of the matter, you essentially have two options - you can:
    1. negotiate a settlement of the matter (what most people end up doing - as it ends up being much cheaper and less stressful)
    2. bring a summary judgement application - (This is an application to the court to give judgement in your favour without having to go through the formal trial process. For this to be successful you will need to show that the other party has no reasonable prospect of succeeding - which is a heavy onus and difficult to do. If you are unsuccessful in your application you will likely be forced to pay for the other party's legal costs which can be quite expensive for this type of application. I wouldn't attempt it without a solicitor's advice.)
     
  5. family woes

    family woes Member

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    Thank you. For reply
    The district court has now advised that since the plaintiff has not entered this action for trial and unless they enter it for action by 25/9/15 then it will become inactive
    The plaintiff solicitor has now sent me an email saying unless I sign consent orders to agree to an extension until the 13 October he will have the matter listed for a directions hearing to allow the court to issue directions in relation to this matter and seek costs on the basis that the matter could have been dealt with by consent order at which time they will produce the email
    Why can they keep prolonging it and is this correct? will I have to pay more?
     
  6. family woes

    family woes Member

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    Ps they need a answer by tomorrow
     
  7. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi, not knowing all the details of the case I can't say for sure, but this sounds about right.
     

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