Changes To The Monetary Jurisdiction Of Queensland Courts

May, 2012

This alert will provide you with information on the changes that will take place, and how these changes will affect you and your current litigation, or any future litigation which you may instruct Mills Oakley to commence on your behalf.

Below, is a table showing the current monetary limit of each Court, and the changes to those monetary limits from 1 November 2010. Monetary Jurisdiction On and before 31 October
2010 On and after 1 November 2010
Magistrates Court $50,000 monetary limit $150,000 monetary limit
District Court $250,000 monetary limit $750,000 monetary limit
Supreme Court Claims $250,000 and over Claims $750,000 and over

No Transitional Period
In order to streamline the changes to the monetary jurisdiction of the Courts, there will be no transitional period, and the changes are effective as of 1 November 2010. Practitioners and litigants must therefore ensure from 1 November 2010, claims are filed in the Court of appropriate jurisdiction.

Current or Pending Proceedings
To ensure minimal disruption to current or pending proceedings, there will be no requirements to transfer your proceedings from a higher court to a lower court, notwithstanding the amount being claimed now falls into the monetary jurisdiction of a lower court.
This provides certainty for parties with claims and applications underway
However, if the Magistrates Court, because of the increase in the monetary threshold, has no jurisdiction to hear a particular matter, such as possession of land matters, the Magistrates Court must transfer those proceedings to the appropriate court with jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Similarly, a Plaintiff has the right to apply for a transfer from the Magistrates Court to a higher court on the basis that there is no adequate relief in the lower court. A Defendant may also transfer proceedings from a lower court to a higher court if the higher court considers an important question of law fact will arise.

Costs Scale
A new scale of costs will also be introduced in the Magistrates Court as of 1 November 2010 to reflect the increased jurisdiction from $50,000 to $150,000. The new scale of costs, however, will only be for claims between $50,000 and $150,000, but as yet is not available. A summary of same will be provided to you once it becomes available.

Filing of Claims in the Central Registry
There will also now be central registries for the Magistrates Court and District Court as there is currently for the Supreme Court.

The central registries are :-
Supreme Court: Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns;
District Court: Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns; and
Magistrates Court: Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns

If you require clarification on any of the above changes, or simply wish to discuss same, please do not hesitate in telephoning us and we shall be only to pleased to do so.

Furthermore, we wish to advise all our valued clients that despite the above changes to the registries and jurisdictions, we shall endeavour to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Contact Mills Oakley

stephen-dickens-mills-oakleyStephen Dickens | Partner
T: +61 7 3228 0445

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