If you have a civil dispute up to the value of $25,000, it is considered a small claim in the ACT. The team at Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers explain what you need to know about managing your small claim in ACAT.

What is ACAT

ACAT is the Australian Capital Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal, established under the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008.
ACAT considers and resolves applications lodged by individuals, businesses, government agencies and occupational regulatory authorities about many different matters.

Common types of claims commenced in ACAT

  • Civil disputes up to $25,000* are considered small claims, which include the following:
    • Disputes over a finance agreement;
    • Damages to your property;
    • Contractual disputes;
    • Personal injury;
    • Goods application;
  • Disagreement with your neighbour;
  • Disputes between landlord, tenant and/or strata management/body corporate;
  • Boundary disputes;
  • Trespass and nuisance applications;
  • Application for a mental health order;
  • Discrimination matters; and
  • Issues with utility services.

*current at 15 December 2016.

Tips for managing ACAT proceedings

Here are our top 10 tips for managing your ACAT matter:

  1. Identify your issue and make sure it falls under one of the ACAT categories.
  2. In lodging your application, ensure that you are using the correct form that relates to your dispute.
  3. Complete, and then lodge your application. Applications may be lodged in person, by post or by facsimile to the ACAT office.
  4. Alternatively, if possible, before commencing proceedings aim to keep lines of communication open with the other side. Attempt to resolve disputes by talking to the other party informally before you lodge an application with the ACAT or by using mediation or counselling services.
  5. If an agreement is reached after the application is lodged let the tribunal know of the agreement. This is encouraged to ensure both parties save costs.
  6. Prepare your hearing.
  7. Prepare a statement in writing and plan when and where to call witnesses or introduce evidence.
  8. Keep all evidence relevant to your claim including letters, faxes, emails, invoices, photos or quotes for repairs.
  9. Make copies of your statement, legal references and evidence for the Tribunal and the other side.
  10. Double check that the details on your application and particularly the other party’s name and address are correct.

Useful Links

  • ACAT Website
  • ACAT Helpful Links
  • ACAT Forms
  • ACAT Approved Forms
  • Civil Dispute Applications-Guide to Applications

How can Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers assist?

ACAT generally works on the idea that people will run their own matter.
This may not work for you if:

  • The matter concerns a larger sum of money,
  • The matter includes complex legal issues, or
  • You are not really good at making public presentations.

Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers can provide advice on how to run your matter or present the matter on your behalf. Please contact the team at Snedden Hall & Gallop today on (02) 6285 8000 or by email here.