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Magistrates Court of Western Australia
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Welcome to the Magistrates Court of Western Australia

The Magistrates Court of Western Australia has multiple registries located around the State to deal with:

  • Criminal - offence-based matters; and
  • Civil - claims for debt or damages and non-offence based matters (eg extraordinary drivers licence applications, dividing fences and restraining orders).

News Alert

The Magistrates Court of Western Australia has recently introduced a process whereby civil cases on which no activity has occurred for a period of 12 months or greater are placed on an Inactive Cases List. All parties to cases which are placed on the Inactive Cases List will receive a notice from the court advising them of their options. These options include:

  • Applying to the court to have the matter removed from the Inactive Cases List
  • Formally discontinuing the case by lodging and serving a notice of discontinuance (only the party who commenced the proceedings can discontinue it) or
  • Lodging a memorandum of consent in which the parties agree to an order or judgment which finalises the case.

If none of the above steps are taken by the parties for a further six months from the date of the notice, the case will be dismissed.


Why have these provisions been introduced?

The inactive cases provisions have been introduced to allow the court to finalise cases which are not progressing through the court in a timely manner. Having large volumes of inactive and un-finalised cases means the court is unable to conclusively report on important performance indicators, such as the average time taken to finalise a case, or the number of overall ‘cases on hand’ at any given period. These statistics are required to effectively manage the courts workload. Further to this, notice of the claim brought against a defendant may have been listed with a credit reference agency. These listings remain in place until such time as the case is finalised. These provisions provide a mechanism by which the court can notify credit reference agencies that the claim against a person has been finalised.

Why have I received this notice? I was not aware of any case before the court.

If you are named as the defendant in a case to which you had no knowledge, it is likely that a claim was commenced against you but service of the claim was never effected. There are a number of reasons why this could occur; including the incorrect contact details being specified on the claim, or the claim being settled prior to service being effected.

What was the claim for?

The court at which the claim was lodged will be able to provide some information in relation to the specifics of the claim; such as the date the case was filed, the parties (and contact details at time of lodgement), and the claim amount. You may need to contact the claimant or the claimant’s representative for further information.

I thought this claim was settled, why was it still active?

Although a claim may be settled outside the court, notice must still be provided to the court advising that the claim will no longer be pursed through the courts. This is generally done by lodging and serving a notice of discontinuance. Until the introduction of these provisions, where a claimant or claimant’s representative failed to notify the court of the out of court settlement, the case would remain open indefinitely.

How do I remove a case from the Inactive Cases List?

You can apply to the court where the claim was commenced for the case to be removed from the Inactive Case List. If on hearing the application the Magistrate is satisfied that the case will be conducted in a timely manner, the case may be removed from the Inactive Cases List.

What do I need to do?

Nothing. Unless you would like the case to proceed, there is no need for you to take any action.

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