If you’ve made the claim you’re called the ‘applicant’. If you’re defending a claim you’re called the ‘respondent’. Together, the applicant and respondent are called ‘parties’.

How to respond to a claim

If a claim is made against you in the Disputes Tribunal, you’ll get a notice of hearing telling you about the claim. This will tell you when and where the Tribunal will hear the claim. 

You can then:

  • contact the person making the claim and try to settle it without going to the Tribunal
  • go to the hearing and defend the claim
  • if you think you have a claim against the other party, file a counterclaim in the tribunal
  • apply to the Tribunal to have the hearing by phone conference if you live a long way from where the claim is being heard.

If you think the applicant is at fault – making a counterclaim

If you think you have a claim against the other party, you can make a counterclaim.

You must make the counterclaim as soon as possible. This will allow both the claim and the counterclaim to be heard at the same hearing.

How to make a counterclaim

You make a counterclaim the same way you make a claim. You’ll need to tell us you’re making a counterclaim and note the CIV number from the notice of hearing.

If you’re using the paper form, write ‘Counterclaim’ and the CIV number at the top of the form.

How to make a claim 

Once we get your counterclaim, we’ll tell the other parties that it has been filed.

Do you have insurance that may cover the claim?

Your insurance company can take part in the hearing if it has paid you for the loss or damage, or if it might have to pay.

If a claim is made against you and you think you can claim insurance, you must contact your insurance company immediately.

Example claim & hearing

View an example dispute – the story of a car crash [PDF, 26 KB]

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