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Respond to a QCAT minor debt dispute

A minor debt dispute is a disagreement between you and another person, business or company over an agreed and fixed amount of money up to $25,000. In Queensland, minor debt disputes are heard and decided by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Any member of the public can start a minor debt dispute, including individuals, businesses and traders.

If you have been served with a minor debt application, and are listed as a respondent you must lodge a response to the application. If you do not lodge a response, the applicant can seek a decision by default.

You have 28 days from the day you were given a copy of the application to lodge your response.

You must send the applicant a copy of the sealed response after it is lodged at QCAT.

What is a response

In a response, you outline facts which try to disprove the original claims.

For example, if the applicant says "the contract is a written document dated 1 July 2008", you may say "I deny that the contract was a written document dated 1 July 2008 because the copy of the contract is signed and dated 1 July 2007".

You should include any supporting documentation or evidence to support your response.

Who can use this form

If you are a respondent noted on a minor debt application, and have been served with the application.

You cannot respond to a minor civil dispute that is not a minor debt. Learn more about responding to an application in these circumstances.

Before lodging your response

The QCAT rules state your response must be filed within 28 days after you are given a copy of the application. If you did not file a response within this time, the applicant may have applied for a decision by default.

If the tribunal has made a decision in default of your response, filing this form will not change the decision.

If a decision by default has been you can apply to set that decision aside. See more information on decisions by default.

What you need to complete this form

To complete this form you will need:

There is no fee to lodge this response.

What happens next

When you submit this form online, we will automatically receive it.

Your application is not lodged until we seal it (i.e. stamp it with the official QCAT stamp). A sealed copy of your application will be emailed to the address you provide.

You must then give (serve) the sealed copy of the application to all parties.

All parties will then receive a notice to attend mediation including the date, time and location of mediation. The aim of mediation is to get all parties to reach an agreement.

If no agreement is reached at mediation, generally the matter will proceed to a hearing and a final decision will be made.

Please note: If your application concerns an amount up to $1500, your dispute will be listed for hearing without first being referred for mediation, unless otherwise ordered by the tribunal. For more information read Practice Direction 2011-4 Arrangements for the mediation and determination of minor civil disputes (PDF, 1.67MB).

What you must do

You must serve a sealed copy of your application to each of the other parties as soon as possible.

Legal advice

If you are unsure about your legal rights you should get legal advice.

Contact QCAT

You can contact the QCAT registry by:

For queries on minor civil dispute matters lodged outside the Brisbane registry, you will need to contact the registry where the application that started the proceeding was lodged.

To find your nearest magistrates court, visit the courts website.

Further information

Read more about:

Protecting your privacy

We collect your contact details to ensure QCAT proceedings comply with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009. We may contact you to help evaluate our operations. You do not have to participate in feedback or surveys. If you do participate, no identifying information will be published. We will not disclose your contact details or any other personal information to a third party unless required by law.

Last updated
12 April 2017
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