Please note that new Uniform Civil Court Rules 2020 for legal proceedings in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts of South Australia are scheduled to commence on 27 April 2020. The information in this chapter is still based on the rules that apply prior to the commencement of the new civil rules, but will be updated on or about 27 April 2020 to reflect the new rules.
A Minor Civil Action is an application about:
See Magistrates Court Act 1991 (SA) s 3(1) and (2).
Other proceedings declared by statute to be minor statutory proceedings include:
Note that neighbourhood disputes and minor statutory proceedings may involve amounts over $12 000 and still be heard as minor civil actions. If a neighbourhood dispute or a minor statutory proceeding involves a monetary claim for more than $12 000, or a claim for relief in the nature of an order to carry out work where the value of the work is more than $12 000, a party may choose to exclude the case from the rules governing minor civil actions and have it treated as a case in the general division [Magistrates Court Act 1991 (SA) s 3(4)].
In a minor civil action, a lawyer normally cannot represent a party at the trial (although they can be involved in all of the preliminary steps leading up to the trial) and the procedures at trial are not as formal as claims in the General Division. If you want a lawyer to represent you, the other party must agree, or the Court may allow you to have a lawyer if it thinks that you will be disadvantaged without representation. See Magistrates Court Act 1991 (SA) s 38.
Some examples of minor civil actions include: