If some person had signed a contract and the other party has committed breach of any terms and conditions of the contract, the aggrieved party has right to sue the defaulter party.
A civil claim can be filed either in Disputes Tribunal, District Court or the HIgh Court.
If the claim is upto $15,000 ($20,000 with the consent of other party), Disputes Tribunal can entertain the claim;
If the claim is upto $200,000, the District Court may entertain the claim;
If the claim is above $200,000, or if the matter is complex, the HIgh Court may hear the matter.
In Disputes Tribunal, before filing the claim, the claimant must serve a letter of demand to the other party asking for the remedy to be done within a period and if the other party fails to remedy the default or fails to respond within the period specified, the claimant can fill up the form for claim(triplicate) and submit to the Disputes Tribunal with supporting documents and fee.
Notice of the claim will be sent to the respondent and asked to respond to the notice within a specified period. After the expiry of the period, a hearing is set down where the referee decides the claim in just one hearing. Sometimes, hearing can be extended to two or three hearings.
In District Court, civil claims are filed in Claim 2 form. There is a fee for filing the claim. Currently it is $169.50. The respondent must respond within 20 working days and file claim 3 to the applicant.
Then applicant files form 4 and respondent files claim 5 and after receipt of form 5 from the respondent, the applicant has to file all the forms 2,3,4,5 and an additional form 6 which is called Notice of Pursuit of Claim.
Then the Court will fix the matter for judicial conference or settlement conference or trial or half day fixture depending upon the circumstances.
Pl. note that this is not a legal advice and general information obtained from the Ministry of Justice website. For more details see www.justice.govt.nz/courts/civil