Originating process

A generic term for various documents by means of which a civil action may be commenced, such as a default summons, statement of claim, cross-claim and summons.

‘Originating process’ is defined by the Civil Liability Act (NSW) to mean “the process by which proceedings are commenced, and includes the process by which a cross-claim is made.”

An originating process almost always needs to be served to inform the defendant of the case being brought against them, and is the first step in litigation. The requirements for creating and formalising and originating process are as follows (further regulatory information can be found in the relevant Uniform Civil Procedure Rules):

  1. An originating process must be served to the defendant personally (except in cross-claims against active parties)
  2. An originating process in the Local Court may be served by delivering it to the defendant’s registered business or residential address and leaving it in the care of a person who appears to be 16 years or older and works or resides at the address OR the Court may serve it by post to the business/residential address.
  3. An originating process must be served on the defendant within 6 months of filing.
  4. In the District Court, the originating process must be served within 1 month where the defendant is inside NSW.