Case Transfer refers to the process whereby a case in a court is transferred to another court. Applications by a party to transfer a case from one court to another are initiated in the court the matter is currently before.
The Courts (Case Transfer) Act 1991 (the Case Transfer Act) and the Courts (Case Transfer) Rules 2021 (the Case Transfer Rules) regulate the process for transferring a case initiated in the Supreme Court of Victoria to the County or Magistrates’ Courts. The Case Transfer Act also regulates the transfer of a proceeding into the Supreme Court of Victoria from the County Court or the Magistrates’ Court.
The Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-Vesting) Act 1987 (Vic), Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-Vesting) Act 1987 (Cth) and Order 13 of the Supreme Court (Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings) Rules 2018 provide for transfers of cases before the Supreme Court of Victoria to other state or territory Supreme Courts or Commonwealth courts.
Information on transferring or cross-vesting a case to the Supreme Court of Victoria should be requested from the originating court.
Transfers to the County and Magistrates’ Courts
The most common methods used to transfer a case to the County Court and to the Magistrates’ Court are provided for in Parts 3, 5, and 6 of the Case Transfer Act. The applicable forms are contained in the Case Transfer Rules.
Parties are encouraged to consider the most appropriate method of transfer having regard to the circumstances of the case and their overarching obligations under the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic).
Part 6 transfers
Part 6 transfers can be initiated by a party or the Court.
Where all the parties agree to the transfer of a case to the County or Magistrates’ Court and provide a signed minute of proposed consent orders, the requirement for a summons may be dispensed with. If one or more parties oppose the transfer, an application on summons may be required.
The Court may initiate the transfer of a case if it is satisfied that the case could be heard and decided in the lower court. Parties will generally be given the opportunity to make submissions in respect of the proposed transfer or to consent to the transfer. A judicial officer will consider the submissions and make a transfer order if appropriate.
Part 3 transfers
Transfers under Part 3 require both the Supreme Court and the lower court to review and determine whether the case should be transferred. A party initiates a Part 3 transfer by filing a Form 4 notice.
Parties will be invited to file submissions which both courts review and make preliminary determinations about whether the case should be transferred. If it is determined that the case should not be transferred, the parties are notified and the case continues in the Supreme Court.
If it is determined that the case should be transferred, parties may file a notice of objection if they maintain that the case should not be transferred. Any such objections are reviewed by both courts and a final determination on the transfer is made.
If no objection is filed, or if an objection is filed but it is determined that the case should be transferred, a transfer order is made and all documents relating to the case are sent to the lower court. The lower court will inform the parties of the new case number and the case will continue in that court. It should be noted that an appeal does not lie from a transfer order under Part 3.
Part 5 transfers
A plaintiff may apply to the Prothonotary for a case to be transferred to a lower court by filing a Form 8 notice. If certain criteria are met, an order transferring the case will be made.
Cross-vesting involves the transfer of cases between state or territory Supreme Courts or Commonwealth courts.
To cross-vest a case in the Common Law Division, a party can make an application on summons.
In the Commercial Court, a party can make an application to the Managing Judge.
For further information about case transfers please contact the Case Transfers Team at firstname.lastname@example.org@srefsnartesac .
For phone enquiries in relation to Common Law Division cases contact the Principal Registry and for Commercial Court cases the Commercial Court Registry.
Visit the contact us page to access the details for each Registry.