Strike Out Applications

Strike Out Applications



Avoid Having Your Proceeding or Pleadings Struck Out

In litigation, “pleadings” include Court documents such as a:

  • Statement of Claim;
  • Defence and Counterclaim;
  • Reply; or
  • Answer.

These documents can be difficult to get right, especially for self-represented litigants. This article discusses:

  • why pleadings or a proceeding may be struck out;
  • the consequences; and
  • how to avoid a strike out application.

For information about bringing a strike out application, see our article here.

Striking Out Pleadings

If your pleading is deficient, a common tactic lawyers use is to apply to the Court to:

  • strike out the pleadings; or
  • strike out the inadequate part of the pleading.
Striking Our Proceedings

An application can also be brought to Court to strike out the entire proceeding. If such an application is successful, the matter will be summarily dismissed.

The Court may dismiss a matter even if there is a good case simply because that case has not been properly pleaded.

A Court generally will give a party more than one attempt to get their court documents correct. It can be an expensive exercise however if a party has been told by a court to change their pleading and especially if on more than one occasion.

When Are Strike Out Applications Made?

Strike out applications are often brought by lawyers against other parties and including self-represented litigants. A pleading prepared without legal advice may not always conform to requirements. Without legal training, the proper preparation of a pleading can be difficult to get right.

If you have prepared and filed your own Statement of Claim or Defence, the solicitors for the Defendant (or Plaintiff as the case may be) may write to you:

  • demanding that you amend your Statement of Claim or Defence; as otherwise
  • they will apply to Court to strike out your action or Defence; and
  • seek their client’s costs of the application against you.

If you have drafted your own Claim and Statement of Claim, a defendant may apply:

  • to have the Claim struck out; or
  • to have parts of the Statement of Claim struck out.

These applications can also be brought where lawyers are acting for both parties.

The Result of a Strike Out Application

A successful strike out application can result in a costs order against the party whose:

  • proceeding is struck out;
  • pleading is struck out; or
  • pleading is partly struck out (for example, a particular paragraph or paragraphs).

Where the party was put on notice of the deficiencies in their case, such a costs order may be on an indemnity basis. This means the losing party must pay all the other side’s incurred but reasonable costs.

It can also mean that the losing party’s:

  • Claim is struck out and entire case dismissed; or
  • Defence is struck out and judgment is entered against them.
Why The Court May Strike Out Pleadings

The Court can strike out pleadings, or part of a pleading, for various reasons.

The other party may allege, for example, that certain paragraphs are “embarrassing”. For this reason, those paragraphs ought to be struck out. “Embarrassing” in this context means that the words used could have various meanings or appear inconsistent.

They may also allege that a Statement of Claim discloses no reasonable or known cause of action. The same allegation can be made about a Counterclaim.

Drafting Appropriate Pleadings

The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) (UCPR 1999) set out rules for pleading properly. There are many cases that deal with applying these rules in strike out applications.

If your Statement of Claim, Defence or Counterclaim is not prepared per the UCPR 1999, you risk:

  • an application to strike out your pleading; and
  • the Court making a costs’ order against you.

You can minimise this risk by engaging an experienced civil litigation lawyer. This way you can be sure your Court documents will be in line with the UCPR 1999.

The best way to avoid a strike out application is to have your pleading prepared with plenty of time by a lawyer.

Our litigation lawyers have significant experience preparing pleadings.

We also have experience:

  • amending pleadings for previously self-represented litigants to avoid having them struck out; and
  • applying to strike out proceedings, pleadings, and parts of pleadings against our clients.

Contact us if a solicitor has written to you threatening to make an application to Court against you. Our litigation lawyers can assist you to fix your pleadings and bring them in line with the UCPR 1999.

Focused On Results

It is essential you have experienced solicitors when dealing with strike out applications. Our litigation and dispute resolution lawyers will make sure:

  • your case is adequately pleaded; and
  • any deficiencies in the other side’s case are acted on.

Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane are focused on results. Our solicitors can assist you with all civil and commercial litigation matters. Call us on 07 3229 4459 to discuss your needs with a solicitor.

Office Location and Contact Details


Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Ph: 07 3229 4459
Fax: +617 3211 9311


07 3229 4459 Email

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