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The Court has produced a series of videos to help people who are representing themselves. 

The Supreme Court has created the following videos to assist people who are representing themselves in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The videos include information and advice to assist through every step of the process such as how to prepare for a hearing , how to complete an affidavit and what to expect on the day when attending Court.

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Preparing for a Hearing video.

Transcript

This video will help you prepare to represent yourself at a Supreme Court hearing . From the time that you are notified of your hearing date, there are a number of steps you can take to prepare.

Firstly, check the type of hearing you are due to attend and plan on that basis. Not every hearing requires the same preparation.

Check with the Court which method you should use to file the documents you intend to rely on at your hearing. The Judge will have copies of all documents filed by you and the other party . Check that you have copies of all the documents you may wish to refer to during your hearing such as affidavits, including exhibits, witness statements, written submissions, and e-mails from the Court.This set of documents will form your folder of hearing documents.

Check that you have paid all your court fees.

Check which Supreme Court building your matter is listed in, and the address for that building. If you require any assistance to access the court, please call us at least two days in advance, so we can help plan your visit.

Now that you have filed your documents, paid your fees and confirm your hearing location, it is time to think about how to present your case. Write down what you plan to say, and make a list of the questions you would like to ask. Think about what the other party might say and how you would respond.

If you plan to refer to documents, the Judge will expect you to say the name of the document you are referring to, and the page and paragraph of the text that you specifically wish to draw to their attention. It will help if you clearly label your documents and put them in order before your hearing.

Family and friends are welcome to attend, and observe the hearing with you. 

You may find it helpful to observe a hearing when preparing your case. Most cases are heard in open court with sitting available for the public.

It is now the day before your hearing, so you need to think about what you should do. Review your notes, and re-read the key documents that you plan to talk about at the hearing. Practice what you are going to say with a friend or family member. Pack all your documents and any books you've been using to help you to understand the law. Pack a notepad and pen, so that you can make notes of what is said during the hearing. Place an order for a transcript of your hearing. Requirements for transcript are explained in the court's practice notes.The Registry can also assist you with that information.

Check the Court Hearing List on the website to know which courtroom your matter is listed in and whether there are any other matters listed before the same judge that day.

Lastly, plan what you are going to wear. Dress formally for your hearing, and do not wear thongs, singlet tops or sunglasses. Now, you are ready for your hearing.

Contact Details

www.supremecourtvic.gov.au/representingyourself

Self-Represented Litigants Coordinator
Phone: 03 8600 2031

Principal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2004

Court of Appeal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2001

Multi-language Downloadable PDFs

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Attending Court video.

Transcript

The day of your hearing has arrived.

Before leaving home, ensure you have all your papers, including the original signed exhibits with you and know the address of the court building.

Arrive at Court early, as delays can occur at the X-ray security screening point.

Prohibited items such as alcohol, sharp or dangerous objects, are not allowed in Court, so please leave them at home.

Once you have cleared security, follow the signage or ask for directions to your courtroom.

When you arrive at the courtroom, report to Court Officer who will show you where to sit.

Be prepared to wait your turn as your matter may be only of several listed in the courtroom that day.

Listen to the Court Officer who will call your matter when it is your turn.

Stand up when the Judge enters the courtroom.

If you are the applicant you will be expected to present your case to the Judge first.

Stand to address the Judge and refer to the Judge as "Your Honour", or if there is more than one Judge, say "Your Honours".

Speak with confidence; plainly, politely, and with respect.

Make your points logically and simply.

The Judge will ask the other party to respond to your comments.

You should return to your seat when the other party is speaking.

Stand again whenever the Judge speaks to you and whenever you are answering the Judge's questions.

If you do not understand an argument or a decision, ask the Judge to explain it to you.

The Judge will advise you of their decision, or whether they will make their decision at a later date.

If there are no further matters after yours, the Judge will rise and the Court will be adjourned.

You may then leave the courtroom.

If there are other matters following yours, you may leave the courtroom at the conclusion of your hearing by walking to rear of the courtroom, and bowing to the Judge before quietly exiting through the courtroom door.

Be aware that members of the public may also be in the courtroom for your hearing as Supreme Court hearings are open to the public to observe.

Should you require further information about court processes, please visit our website or call our Registry .

Contact Details

www.supremecourtvic.gov.au/representingyourself

Principal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2004

Self-Represented Litigants Coordinator
Phone: 03 8600 2031

Multi-language Downloadable PDFs

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's How to Complete an Affidavit video.

Transcript

This video explains what an affidavit is and how you complete one. 

What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is a formal written statement, which sets out facts known to you.

It must be signed under oath or affirmation, which is you saying that the information is true.

Your affidavit will form part of the evidence to support your case.

The other party will be allowed to ask you questions about its contents during the hearing .

How do I complete my affidavit?

You can complete the affidavit template on the Supreme Court of Victoria website and then print a copy.

Or, the Registry can send you a blank affidavit for you to complete by hand.

Affidavits contain a series of short, numbered statements.

Each statement should follow logically from the statement before, in date order, and each statement should set out a fact relevant to the case.

Using headings in the affidavit can assist the reader to follow your story.

Write your affidavit using everyday language. The same way you will speak when you are cross-examined about your affidavit.

What information should I include in my affidavit?

Start your affidavit by setting out your full name, address and occupation.

In the next paragraph, explain why you are making the affidavit.

Is it to respond to something the other party has filed or to support an application you have made?

If relevant to your case, you can provide some brief background details, such as how you are involved in the proceeding.

Next, set out the facts of your case, such as what you did, saw, said or heard.

Specify dates on which things happened, where they happened and who was present.

If you are not sure about something or can’t remember, be honest about this.

What information should I leave out of my affidavit?

Avoid the temptation to include information that is not relevant to your case.

Do not include arguments about how the law applies to the facts set out in your affidavit.

You will have an opportunity to make legal arguments, called "submissions", at the hearing of your case.

Put any emotions about your dispute aside by not including your opinion or sharing what you think has happened.

For instance, when describing conversations, state only what you know was said, by whom, where and when.

Information that someone else has told you, which is called hearsay, is not usually allowed.

But if you think you need to include it, you must say it is based on your belief.

You should avoid including information that you or the other party has previously given to the court.

Be aware...

If you include inappropriate or irrelevant material in an affidavit, the other party may apply to have that material struck out or removed.

If the other party is successful in their application to have part or all of your affidavit struck out, the Court may order you to pay their legal costs in bringing that application.

It is a serious crime if you knowingly make a false statement in your affidavit.

This could result in you receiving a significant penalty.

Exhibits to an affidavit.

Exhibits to an affidavit are documents such as bank statements, letters and property searches or other forms of evidence, which support the statements made in the affidavit.

Exhibits are kept with the affidavit while the matter remains in the courts.

You will need to name each of your exhibits.

Using your initials and then a sequential number is a good way.

For example, if your initials were BD, you would name your exhibits BD1, BD2, BD3 and so on.

To refer to one of your exhibits in your affidavit, you would write:

“I refer to exhibit BD1".

Each exhibit should have a cover sheet known as a Certificate Identifying Exhibit Form 43A which includes the name of the exhibit.

This is available on the Supreme Court website or from the Principal Registry.

I’ve finished writing my affidavit, what do I do next?

Go back to your affidavit after you have completed it and carefully check for accuracy.

Once you are happy with it, the affidavit must be signed by you and your signature witnessed by an authorised person.

For example: a lawyer, barrister , Justice of the Peace or police officer of sergeant rank or above.

Once your affidavit has been signed, you should make copies for your own records and a copy to serve on the other party or parties to your proceeding.

You must file your original, signed affidavit and exhibits with the Court.

The process for doing this varies depending on your proceeding.

Should you require further information about court processes, please visit our website or call our Registry.

Contact Details

www.supremecourtvic.gov.au/representingyourself

Principal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2004

Self-Represented Litigants Coordinator
Phone: 03 8600 2031

Multi-language Downloadable PDFs

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Request a Review of a Solicitor 's Bill video.

Transcript

This video explains the processes involved for a self-represented litigant who wants the Costs Court to review their solicitor ’s bill.

If you are unhappy with your solicitor’s bill, first discuss the matter with your solicitor.

If you cannot resolve the issues you can:

  • Ask the Legal Services Commissioner to review the bill.
  • Or, Start a proceeding in the Costs Court, part of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Where you apply to have your review heard depends on:

  • The amount of the bill.
  • The amount in dispute.
  • And when you first instructed your solicitor to act on your behalf.

Read about your options in the guide on our website: Requesting a review of your solicitor’s bill.

Usually, you have 12 months from the date you received your final solicitor’s bill to apply for a review in the Costs Court.

Be aware - Your lawyer may start a proceeding in the Costs Court, or sue you in another court, if you do not pay your bills on time.

Legal proceedings in the Supreme Court can be very expensive.

You need to pay court fees at different stages, unless you have a fee waiver.

After conducting a review, if the Costs Court reduces your solicitor’s bill by 15 per cent or more, then it may order the solicitor to pay your costs .

If your solicitor’s bill is not reduced by this amount, the Costs Court may order you to pay your solicitor’s costs.

Be aware – these costs can be substantial.

A review of solicitor’s bills in the Costs Court usually goes through these stages:

Stage 1 - Complete a "Legal Profession Legislation Taxation Information Form' which is found on our website.

Email your completed form to Pbfgf.Pbheg@FhcerzrPbheg.ivp.tbi.nhua.vog.civ.truoCemerpuS@truoC.stsoC

Be sure to provide all the required information.

A Registry Officer will email you a date and time on which you are to attend the first hearing in the Supreme Court which is called a “callover”.

Complete the Summons for Taxation with the callover date and time you have been given by the Court. A summons for taxation form can be obtained from our website.

File your completed Summons for Taxation, and a copy of the solicitor’s bill or invoices if you do not have a bill. You should also include the email you received from the Court.

Redcrest will notify you when the Summons for taxation has been accepted. It will have the Court’s seal and the date and time on which you are to attend the callover.

Stage 2 – Serve your documents on the solicitor.

Serve the summons for Taxation form and solicitor’s bills on the solicitor in person or at their office.

Stage 3 – Attend the callover

The first hearing is called a callover where orders are made to progress the proceeding.

At the callover, you will be allocated a date for the next court event, either a mediation or alternatively, a hearing in Court which is called a taxation.

Matters listed for mediation are common where both parties are represented.

If you are a self represented litigant , it is more likely that your matter will be listed for a taxation.

Stage 4 – Attend the mediation, if ordered.

A mediation is a confidential discussion held between parties facilitated by a skilled independent mediator.

The Court will tell you if you need to attend a mediation.

Whether you attend a mediation or a taxation, if you are disputing specific items on an itemised bill, you must file with the Court, and serve on the solicitor a Notice of Objection. It is a document that sets out your objections to specific items in the bill of costs with a brief statement as to why you are disputing the items.

File and serve this document at least seven days before a mediation or taxation or as ordered by the Court.

Stage 5 – Attend the taxation hearing

If you attended a mediation in Stage 4 and the case did not settle, the Court will usually order you to attend a taxation hearing.

Or, your proceeding may go straight to a taxation hearing after the callover.

The taxation hearing is where you present your arguments to the Court based on your Notice of Objections.

There are some things you can do to prepare for your taxation hearing:

  • Watch the videos on our website about preparing for a hearing and attending court.
  • Become familiar with anything the solicitor sent you during the time you engaged their services.
  • If disputing specific items, bring to the hearing copies of the emails, letters or other materials that relate to the items.
  • Prepare to present your arguments to the Court.
  • Read any relevant rules and legislation .

The judicial officer will usually give their decision on disputed items in the bill of costs and a decision about who pays the cost of the taxation at the taxation hearing. If the taxation involves a disputed point of law, you may get that decision after the taxation.

If you are unhappy with the outcome, you have 14 days to request a review of the decision.

For more details on requesting a review of a solicitor’s bill, see the guide on our website: Requesting a review of your solicitor’s bill.

You can also contact the Self-represented Litigant Coordinator to discuss your situation. Contact details are on our website.

Contact Details

www.supremecourtvic.gov.au/representingyourself

Principal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2004

Self-Represented Litigants Coordinator
Phone: 03 8600 2031

Multi-language Downloadable PDFs

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Completing a Statement of Claim video.

Transcript

This video explains what a Statement of Claim is and how you complete one.

What is a statement of claim ?

A statement of claim is a document prepared by the plaintiff , that is, the person or company who is initiating the case in the court.

A statement of claim usually accompanies a writ or could be otherwise needed during the course of a proceeding.

The Statement of Claim states the nature and cause of the claim, and the relief or remedy sought in the proceeding.

How do I complete my Statement of Claim?

Using headings can assist the reader to understand your claim.

You should number each paragraph of your statement of claim.

This makes its simpler for you, the defendant and the judge to refer to a particular point.

Each paragraph should follow logically from the one before and be in chronological date order.

Write your statement of claim using simple everyday language.

What information should I include in my statement of claim?
  • The Statement of claim should start by identifying the parties to the dispute and their relationship to each other.
  • Include any relevant background facts.
  • Explain how and in what way the defendant has wronged you according to law. This is the legal basis for your claim.
  • State the essential facts which support the claim being made.
  • End the statement of claim with clear statements of the orders that you want the Court to make.
What information should I leave out of my statement of claim?

Limit your statement of claim to things which are relevant to your case.

Do not include evidence - evidence is presented at the trial to prove the essential facts referred to in your Statement of Claim.

Leave out any detailed arguments about how the law applies to your case.

You may have an opportunity to make these legal arguments (called ‘submissions’) at the hearing of your case.

Put emotions about your dispute aside by not including your opinion or sharing what you think has happened. Stick to the facts.

Be aware…

If you include inappropriate or irrelevant material in a statement of claim, the other party may apply to have that material struck out or removed.

If the other party is successful in their application to have part or all of your claim struck out, the Court may order you to pay their legal costs in bringing that application.

Even if you have successfully applied for a fee waiver in the proceeding, these legal costs will still be payable.

I’ve finished writing my Statement of Claim, what do I do next?

You must file the document on RedCrest.

RedCrest will notify you by email when your Statement of Claim has been accepted.

Please note, this does not mean that a judgment has been made in your favour.

Further steps are required before your case can be determined.

Download the sealed copy of the Statement of Claim from Redcrest and serve the sealed copy on the defendant or defendants.

The Supreme Court publishes a range of Guides to assist Self-Represented Litigants work through all the steps involved in bringing a proceeding. These guides can be found in the ‘Representing Yourself’ section of the Court’s website.

Should you require further information about court processes please visit our website or call our Registry .

Contact Details

www.supremecourtvic.gov.au/representingyourself

Principal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2004

Self-Represented Litigants Coordinator
Phone: 03 8600 2031

Multi-language Downloadable PDFs

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Preparing a Grounds of Appeal  video.

Transcript

This video explains how to prepare grounds of appeal and questions of law.

If you are appealing a decision made by a court or tribunal you need to complete a Leave to Appeal or Notice of Appeal form.

The forms ask you to set out your grounds of appeal.

The form may also ask you for your questions of law.

So what do these terms mean?

Grounds of appeal are the legal errors you say the judicial officer or VCAT member made when making their decision.

Keep your grounds of appeal as simple and concise as possible. You will get a chance to write a more detailed explanation of your arguments later in the court process.

A question of law is usually written as a single question, asking what the court or tribunal was legally required to do or consider in your case.

For example:
Was VCAT correct to decide that a retirement village tenancy agreement can only be terminated under section 16 of the Retirement Villages Act 1986?

Do some legal research and read about cases similar to yours, to help you understand how grounds of appeal and questions of law are applied.

To complete your form, number each ground of appeal consecutively.

Number your questions of law paragraphs as well, so it’s easy for the judge to refer to a paragraph number during the proceeding.

Working out your grounds of appeal and questions of law can be difficult, but is important. The success of your appeal depends on the strength of these two things.

Consider engaging a lawyer to help you with this part of the process. Or, you may be able to get free or low cost legal help with drafting these documents.

The court’s website and Self-represented Litigant Coordinator has information about these services.

Now you’ve completed the form, what do you do next?

See our website for information on next steps. We have guides for representing yourself in common types of proceedings.

If you need help at any stage, contact our Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator.

The Coordinator cannot give legal advice but can talk to you about Court process.

See our website for contact details.

Contact Details

www.supremecourtvic.gov.au/representingyourself

Self-Represented Litigants Coordinator
Phone: 03 8600 2031

Principal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2004

Court of Appeal Registry
Phone: 03 8600 2001

Multi-language Downloadable PDFs

Using the RedCrest e-filing system

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Setting up a RedCrest Account video.

Transcript

In this video, I'll be guiding you through the steps of how to create an account within RedCrest’s new efiling system. 

Start off by navigating to RedCrest’s website and selecting the ‘register here’ hyperlink.

Enter your email address and select ‘next’.

You must then complete some personal information. 

The mandatory fields are highlighted in red. Please note that your password must contain at least one special character in it.

Select ‘finish’ when done.

You will then receive an email prompting you to confirm your email address. 

Select the hyperlink and you're all done.

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Making a Civil Court File Search Request and Paying video.

Transcript

In this video, I'll be guiding you through the steps of filing a search request and paying through PayPal.

Start off by logging into your RedCrest account.

Navigate to the eFile tab and select ‘create a new case request’. 

Within the new case request screen, select the case type of request to search a court file. 

You can now fill in the required information for party one. 

Please note if you enter a first name and last name, the company field is not required.

Delete party two if not required. 

Select ‘court file search request’ from the document type list.

Attach your request to search document and select ‘continue with filing’. 

If you are completing multiple requests to search, one form per file search request is required. 

The request to search form can be downloaded off the Supreme Court website.

You can now review a summary of your request before selecting ‘add to cart’.

Next, select ‘submit filings and pay now’ to be directed to the PayPal screen.

If you have a PayPal account you can log in here or select pay with card.

Enter your credit card details here.

Accept the privacy statement and select ‘pay now’.

You will then get the option to set up a PayPal account if you like. 

If not, select ‘not now’, then your payment receipt will be displayed.

Select ‘return to seller’s website’ to return to the RedCrest website. 

Whilst logged into your RedCrest account, you can navigate to the e-file tab to view the status of all your filings.

For further information or assistance, you can find our contact details on the contact us page of the Supreme Court website.

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Create a New Case Request video.

Transcript

This video will show you how to create a new case request in the Supreme Court's electronic filing system, RedCrest.

Please note that the selections made are examples only. If you require any assistance on procedural matters, please contact the relevant registry .

From the eFile screen, select the 'create new case request’ button. On this screen, we will enter the proceeding information, party details, and attach the documents which are being filed.

In the top section, select the case type you are filing. Then select your initiating actions. If you are unsure about either of these steps, please contact the relevant registry for assistance before continuing.

In the ‘parties’ section, enter the party details. Select the party types, select the legal representative checkbox if you are representing this party, then select the ‘on behalf of’ checkbox.

Select the fee category for the party. If you are representing multiple parties, select ‘on behalf of’ and the fee category for the highest fee-payer only. More information on fee categories is available on the Supreme Court website.

Next, enter the name of the party, either first name, last name or company name.

If you are representing the party, then the contact information is the contact information for your law firm. For the email address, please enter the email address as it appears in the tram tracks of your document. In the 'party 2' section, add the second party.

Please note, do not enter the email address for any defendants or respondents. To add additional parties, click ‘add party’ and follow the previous steps.

Once you’ve added all parties, select the document type you are filing. Attach the document by selecting the 'browse' button, and title it using the ‘document notes’ section in line with the document naming conventions. The document naming conventions can be found under the ‘resources’ section by clicking on the sidebar of the screen.

You’ll then need to attach your completed application for fee category form, if it is required for the fee category selected. Please note, it is not required for corporate or natural person fee categories. The application form can also be found on the sidebar under ‘fees and application forms’. Upload your attachment by clicking on the ‘browse’ button, and enter the document title.

Continue to add any additional documents you need to file by selecting ‘add document’. Please ensure your documents are fully completed, including with hearing details where required, before uploading.

On this screen, you can also add a filing note, which will be viewable by the registry.

Please note, if the filing is urgent or required in court for the following day, please contact the relevant registry immediately after filing. Once you have attached all your documents for filing, select ‘continue with filing’. This will take you to the review screen. At this stage, your filing has been saved as a draft.

Please note the new case request number, or eFile ID at the top of the screen. Once you submit your filing, you can quote the eFile ID if you need to contact registry to query your filing.

If you need to modify your filing, select the ‘modify’ button at the bottom of the screen. This will take you back to the previous screen to make any edits required. Otherwise, you can continue by selecting ‘add to cart’, and then ‘submit filings and pay now’.

You’ll be direct to PayPal to enter your payment details. You can use either a PayPal account or pay directly with a credit or debit card. If using a credit card, then the information entered here must be exactly as it appears on the credit card. Select ‘pay now’.

Please note that this is an authorisation to deduct funds when your filing is accepted. Payment will be not deducted if your filing is not accepted. Once your payment has been completed, your filing will be submitted with the Court to review.

For further information on how to file, please see the eFiling user guide and FAQ sheet available on the RedCrest homepage.

The following is a transcript of the Supreme Court of Victoria's Create a Subsequent Filing video.

Transcript

This video will show you how to create a subsequent filing in the Supreme Court’s electronic filing system, RedCrest.

Please note that selections made are examples only. If you require any assistance on procedural matters, please contact the relevant registry .

A subsequent filing applies wherever you have a filing where there is an existing Supreme Court proceeding number.

From the eFile screen, enter the proceeding number in the format as shown, and then click ‘create subsequent filing’. Please note that you do need to use capitals and insert spaces between the letters and numbers, as shown.

Select ‘create subsequent filing’. Select the party you are filing on behalf of. If you are filing on behalf of multiple parties, select the party with the highest fee category. If required, you can change your fee category by selecting the dropdown menu. Alternatively, if you’re a new party on the proceeding, select ‘add party’ and complete the party details.

Select the document type you are filing. Attach the document by clicking the ‘browse’ button, and enter the document title in the ‘document notes’ section, using the document naming conventions. The document naming conventions can be found under the ‘resource’ section by clicking on the sidebar of your screen.

If your filing has a fee, and you’ve made a change to a party’s fee category, or are a new party, you can also find the fee category application form by clicking on the sidebar of your screen, under 'fees and application forms’.

Select ‘add document’ to add any additional documents you need to file. Click the ‘browse’ button again to upload the document. Once you have attached all the documents you need to file, select ‘continue with filing’. This will take you to a review screen.

Note the subsequent filing number at the top of the screen – this is also referred to as your eFile ID. You can contact the registry with any queries about your filing quoting this number.

After reviewing your filing, if you need to make any changes, you can click the ‘modify’ button and it will take you back to the previous screen to make edits. Otherwise, select ‘submit filing’.

If your filing has a fee attached to it, you’ll be directed to PayPal to make payment using either a PayPal account or a credit or debit card. For further information on how to file, please see the eFiling user guide and FAQ sheet.