How to Apply

What does it mean to 'enter an appearance'?

When you enter an appearance, it means the applicant and the court know that you are responding to the civil bill. The entry of appearance will say whether you have a solicitor or wish to represent yourself at this stage, and where to send documents.

If you do not enter an appearance, the judge may make decisions about your case without your response.

Here are the three steps to follow:

1. Complete Form 5 - Entry of Appearance

You will need to complete Form 5 - Entry of Appearance. You usually have ten days to submit the form to the court office. The length of time you have to do this is written on the civil bill.

Please note there are two sections of the form to be signed and dated: (i) directed to the County Registrar and (ii) directed to the applicant (or their solicitor). The applicant may be referred to as 'the plaintiff' on the form.

2. Submit completed Form 5 to the court office

You will need to give three copies of this form to the court office to be date-stamped. The court office will check to see that you are submitting this form within the time limit stated on the civil bill. If the form is accepted, the court office will return two date-stamped copies to you. You will keep one copy and you will need to send the other copy to the applicant or their solicitor.

If you are late completing your entry of appearance form, you can ask the applicant or their solicitor for extra time. If they agree, they should write a letter to you saying how much extra time you have. Bring this letter of agreement to the court office with your completed entry of appearance form.

If they do not agree to extra time, you can ask a court to make a decision on this.

3. Serve the entry of appearance

The civil bill will have the address to which you are to send any documents about the case to the applicant.

You will need to send one copy of your entry of appearance to your spouse.

You will need proof of sending the document to the correct address.

For more information on serving documents >