Magistrates Court Legal Agency Services and Town Agent Lawyers

Has a Complaint issued in the Magistrates Court of Victoria been served on your client, who intends to defend the proceeding?

Does your client intend to commence proceedings in the Magistrates Court?

CBL is able to act as town agent for your firm and provide as much or as little assistance throughout Magistrates Court proceedings as require.  This may range from us providing substantive services including assisting in the drafting of pleadings, attending at the pre-hearing conference or mediation and appearances at any applications and the final hearing, to simply providing template precedents when requested, advising on processes and procedures and being your firm's address for service in Victoria.

CBL regularly acts as town agent in Magistrates Court proceeding. Although the firm is based in the  Melbourne CBD, we can travel to suburban venues of the Magistrates Court if necessary.

There is no need for you to review the Rules and locate the appropriate form of documents for your client to commence or defend proceedings in the Magistrates Court. It is our preference to provide these documents to you at no charge so that they are in the form required for the online filing system for the Magistrates Court, and in our recommended format for making it clear to the parties and to the Court that our Melbourne CBD office is your address for service, CBL acts as town agent and your firm remains the principal solicitors in the proceeding. Contact us and we will promptly send you the relevant forms for defending proceedings or commencing proceedings as set out below.

If enquiring via email or our online contact form please advise in your email that the proceeding is a Magistrates Court proceeding, and advise whether you act for the Plaintiff(s) or the Defendant(s).  This will allow us to promptly send you the appropriate forms.

Defending Magistrates Court Proceedings

After you have contacted us seeking town agent services for a Magistrates Court matter, the process begins as follows:

  • We will provide at no charge a package containing a template Notice of Defence, along with Overarching Obligations and Proper Basis Certifications required by the Victorian Civil Procedure Act, which are tailored to the our recommended format for matters where there is an interstate firm acting as principal solicitors and a town agent firm in Victoria.
  • If you require an advice on the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court and on the provisions of the Service and Execution of Process Act then we can provide such advice for a fixed fee. The advice will assist you to determine the merit or otherwise of issuing a Summons and filing supporting affidavit material seeking to strike out the proceeding for want of jurisdiction, or alternatively applying to stay the Victorian proceeding if the matter is more appropriately dealt with by a Court in your State.
  • You would then be able to prepare your client's Defence using the templates that we provided. We can assist with the substantive pleadings if so requested.  If a Counterclaim (known as a Cross-Claim in a number of other States) is to be filed then this is required within 21 days of the Defence being filed.

As the Magistrates Court proceedings progress, we continue to be your address for service, act as your town agent solicitors, and provide such additional legal services and advice as instructed from time to time.

If contacting us via email or our online contact form please advise in your email that the proceeding is a Magistrates Court proceeding in which you act for the Defendant(s), in order to assist us to promptly send you the appropriate forms.

Commencing Magistrates Court Proceedings

If you act for the prospective Plaintiff in Magistrates Court proceedings, when you contact us for legal town agent solicitor assistance, the process begins as follows:

  • We will provide at no charge a package containing a template Statement of Claim along with Overarching Obligations and Proper Basis Certifications required by the Victorian Civil Procedure Act, all tailored to the our recommended format for town agency retainers.
  • You would then be able to prepare the initiating process using the templates that we provided, and with our assistance regarding the substantive pleadings if so requested. In the Magistrates Court, unlike the County Court and Supreme Court, not all documents in the proceeding can be filed online. The Complaint including the Statement of Claim is filed online, but this is done via completing various form fields in the online filing system. For this reason, it is our preference that you do not locate and complete the Complaint and Statement of Claim on the Magistrates Court website. Instead, we will send you a separate template which is tailored in a manner such that, once the pleading is ready to file, we can copy and paste the relevant text into the various form fields of the filing system
  • After the Complaint has been filed, we are able to attend to or arrange for service if you wish, or alternatively we can send the documents to your office to attend to or arrange for service. The process is not delayed if you attend to or arrange for service as, after filing the Complaint online in the Magistrates Court, a copy for service can simply be emailed to your office, printed and then served; without the delay associated with posting sealed hard copies.

After service of the Complaint and if no Notice of Defence is filed within 21 days from service, we can on your instructions enter an Order in Default of Defence. If the claim is for debt, as opposed to damages, this too can usually be processed via the online filing system. If a Notice of Defence is filed we would thereafter act on your instructions as to the assistance that your firm requires from time to time, whether by way of simply being your address for service in Victoria, or providing substantive legal advice and assistance when required.

If contacting us via email or our online contact form please advise in your email that the proceeding is a Magistrates Court proceeding wherein you act for the Plaintiff(s), in order to assist us to promptly send you the appropriate forms.

Please visit the following pages for further details of our legal agency services and all services that we provide to law firms:

You can choose your fee model for Town Agent Retainers.