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​​Legal termin​ology

The definitions table below may help you familiarise yourself with some legal terms referred to frequently in civil proceedings. 

The Law Assist website also contains a comprehensive legal dictionary

Adjournment​​​Postponing a Court hearing or other Court appearance to another date.
AffidavitA written statement prepared by a person. The statement must be sworn or affirmed to be true in front of a solicitor, barrister or justice of the peace. See UCPR Part 35.
DefenceIn a civil case, the reasons why the defendant disputes the claim against them. A 'defence' form is a document filed at Court by the defendant to notify the Court and the plaintiff that they dispute the claim, and it may also include the reasons why they do not owe any money claimed. See UCPR Part 14.
DefendantA person who has proceedings commenced against them in a Court.
FilingTaking or sending documents to the Court Registry. The Registry staff will stamp the document and put it on the Court file and return stamped copies to be served on the other parties. See UCPR Part 4.
Judge's AssociateThe Judge's administrative assistant. 
LeaveTo seek leave of the Court is to ask for the Court's permission.
MediationConfidential meetings between all the parties to a case where an independent third person (a "mediator") tries to help them come to an agreement about their dispute. See UCPR Part 20.
Notice of MotionA written application to the Court after a case has started asking the Court to make an order(s) about something. The notice also tells the other party where and when the Court will hear the application. See UCPR Part 18.
Originating ProcessA plaintiff starts a certain type of civil case involving companies by filing an Originating Process under the Supreme Court (Corporations) Rules. More usually, a plaintiff starts a civil case by filing a statement of claim or summons. See UCPR Part 6.
Party to ProceedingsIncludes the plaintiff or defendant (or cross-defendant or cross-applicant).
Personal ServiceGiving documents to a party personally, that is, face to face. See UCPR Part 10.
PlaintiffA person who starts a civil case against another person in a court.
RegistryA place at the Court where people can file documents and make enquiries.
Sealed CopyA document or form that has been filed with the Court and has a court stamp on it. See UCPR Part 4.
ServiceThe formal process of giving or sending a document to another party in a case. See UCPR Part 10.
Statement of ClaimA plaintiff files a statement of claim to start a civil case. It tells the Court and the defendant what orders the plaintiff is claiming and sets out the facts the plaintiff says entitle the plaintiff to those orders. Some proceedings must be started by statement of claim. Others are started by summons. See UCPR Part 6. Certain proceedings about companies are started by originating process under the Supreme Court (Corporations) Rules.  
SubpoenaA court order telling a person or company to bring certain documents to Court or to appear at Court to give evidence. See UCPR Part 33.
SummonsA plaintiff files a summons to start a civil case. It tells the Court and the defendant what orders the plaintiff is claiming. Some proceedings must be started by statement of claim. Others are started by summons. See UCPR Part 6. Certain proceedings about companies are started by originating process under the Supreme Court (Corporations) Rules. 
UCPRUniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW)