How to respond to a case

If you are a respondent to a case at NCAT, this means an application has been made against you.

The information on this page applies only to cases in NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division.

Why am I named the respondent?

You are named as a respondent because the applicant has a dispute with you. The applicant has applied to NCAT to resolve the dispute which may result in enforceable orders being made against you. If the applicant can prove their claim, NCAT may make enforcable orders against you.

Why did NCAT accept the application?

NCAT must accept and process all applications received. However the facts of the claim can only be considered by the Tribunal at a hearing.

What you will receive


Copy of the application

Either NCAT or the applicant will send you a copy of the application and any attached documents. The application will set out the orders applied for and the reasons why the orders are being asked for. 

Notice of listing

NCAT will send you a notice of listing. Depending on the type of application, the notice of listing may be for conciliation and hearing, mediation, conciliation, case conference and hearing, directions hearing or a final hearing. Read the notice of listing and any attached information carefully. 

What are my options? 


Settle the dispute

Consider contacting the applicant and try to settle the dispute before the hearing day. If you settle, ask the applicant to withdraw their application so you do not need to attend the hearing. When you attend NCAT, you may also be asked to try to reach an agreement before the hearing through conciliation.

Go to the hearing

If you do not agree with the application, it is in your best interest to organise your documents about the claim and then attend the hearing. At the hearing you will be given the opportunity to present your documents and give your version of events.

Do nothing

If you do nothing and do not attend the hearing, NCAT will probably hear the application in your absence and enforceable orders may be made against you.

How can I prepare for NCAT? 

Carefully read the information on the application form and notice of hearing. Questions to ask yourself are:

  • What is the applicant claiming and why?
  • Do I agree with any part of the application?
  • What evidence can I bring to the Tribunal to prove my version of events?
  • Are there any compromises that can be made?
  • Are there any offers I can make to settle the dispute?

Learn more about preparing for hearing.

Can I lodge a claim against the applicant?

You may be able to lodge a 'cross-claim' depending on the type of case.  Check the relevant legislation for further information.

If you are going to lodge a cross-claim, you should do this quickly so that the applications can be heard together at the same time.  You should also seek legal help or advice as a cross-claim may delay resolving the dispute.

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