ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal

ACAT deals with small civil disputes in the Australian Capital Territory (where the compensation sought is less than $10,000).

ACAT applications can either be printed off and filled out by hand, or filled out in your web browser/pdf editor on your computer and printed off.

Types of Civil Disputes

The first step is to check which category of civil dispute your dispute falls under.

Applications relating to civil disputes are available at the following link:

These applications can be printed off and filled in by hand, or can be completed in your browser or a PDF/word editor on your computer prior to printing.

Note that there are different applications for each matter. However, the following sections appear across all of the applications:


Letter of Demand

Before filling out your application, ACAT recommends that you provide another party with a letter of demand. A letter of demand is a letter in which you let the other party know:

  • What your dispute is about;

  • How you'd like the dispute to be resolved; and

  • A timeline in which you'd like a response; and

  • Your contact details.

You may also wish to notify the other party of your intention to make an application to ACAT

A letter of demand gives another party the opportunity to respond to your claim, and may even allow you to resolve your matter without involving ACAT.

E.g. My neighbour's sewage overflow pipe bursts, and spills on to my property. Before filing with ACAT, I can provide them with the following letter of demand:

To whom it may concern,

Last week, your sewage overflow pipe burst. The runoff from this pipe has been flowing onto my property.

This is creating a nuisance for me, and preventing me from enjoying my land. In order to resolve this issue, I'd like you to repair the pipe, so that it is no longer flowing onto my land. I'd also like you to compensate me for the cost of cleaning up my land that this burst pipe has caused.

Please respond to me within 7 days regarding this issue. If we are unable to resolve this issue, I intend to file a nuisance application and a damages application with ACAT.


<Your name and contact details>

Filling out your applicationEdit

Applicant’s Details

This is the section for your own contact and identification details.

Respondent’s Details

Under this section, place the contact details for the person who you are trying to settle a matter with.

Grounds for Application

Under the sections titled ‘grounds for application’, you should list the reasons why you’re bringing the matter to ACAT. This should include what you believe to be the cause of the matter. For our above example, I would mention the pipe, and that it is preventing my enjoyment of my land.

Previous Attempts to Resolve the Dispute

Under this section, you should list any previous steps you have taken towards settling the matter in the past. This should include the details of your letter of demand, and any other correspondence you have had with the other party in relation to your dispute. If you have contacted.

If you have made no previous attempts to settle this matter, then indicate this at the bottom of the section.

Remedy Sought

Under this section, you should outline the details of any orders you are seeking, and whether or not you’re seeking compensation. For the above example, I would request compensation to cover the costs of clean up.

At the bottom, list both your amounts and reasons claimed for the amounts, and then the total amount of compensation you’d ideally receive in the ‘Total Amount of Application’ section. Note that ACAT is only able to make compensation orders to the value of $10,000.[[]] If you are entitled to more than $10,000, but are willing to accept a claim of $10,000 or under, you can abandon the excess and limit the claim to $10,000 in your application to ACAT.