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Application process - consumer and trader disputes

Before you make an application regarding a consumer and trader dispute, please ensure that it is classed as a consumer and trader dispute by QCAT.

Completing an application form

To make an application in relation to a consumer or trader dispute complete and lodge Form 1 - Application for a minor civil dispute - consumer (PDF, 277.2 KB).

When lodging a dispute against a trader or company, it is very important that their correct business details including their full name and address are completed on the application form. This ensures you take action against the right organisation.

Contact the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for business name and company information. A search fee may be charged.

What happens next?

Once your application and forms have been received QCAT will review the information you provided. QCAT will return to you copies of your application and forms which have been stamped with the QCAT seal (official stamp).

You must then deliver (serve) a copy of the stamped documents to the other party. You may serve by post or use the services of a Magistrates Court bailiff, commercial agent or process server to serve the documents on your behalf. You can find their contact details in the phone book.

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 $3000, your dispute will be listed for hearing without first being referred for mediation, unless otherwise ordered by the tribunal. For more information see QCAT Practice Direction No 4 of 2011 - Arrangements for the mediation and determination of minor civil disputes. (PDF, 1.6 MB)


The other party may make an application for the same dispute - called a counter-application. For example you may claim they sold you a damaged product and they may claim that the product when sold to you was clearly marked as being slightly damaged.

To make a counter-application against the original application, complete and lodge Form 8 - Minor civil dispute - counter application (PDF, 251.4 KB).

Descriptions of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website are general information only. They do not definitively describe the types of applications on which QCAT can make decisions. The relevant legislation determines QCAT's jurisdiction. If you are unsure about your legal rights, you should seek legal advice. Your individual circumstances should guide any actions taken to resolve your dispute.

Before you make an application

Last reviewed
23 December 2016
Last updated
23 December 2016

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