Written by Team Farallon
A Memorandum of Appearance is a legal document procured in response to an issued Writ of Summons. The person being sued (defendant) can file for a Memorandum of Appearance for Court proceedings.
A Memorandum of Appearance is a legal document used in civil litigation cases if the defendant is being sued. The Memorandum of Appearance is a mode for defendants to appear before the Court. It is a court document to request the Court Registry to enter the appearance of the defendant.
The Memorandum of Appearance is to be filed within 8 days after the Plaintiff (the person who sued you) has served a Writ of Summons to the defendant (you) to notify the claim
If the Writ of Summons has been issued outside of Singapore, the defendant has 21 days to file a Memorandum of Appearance.
The defendant files his defence within 14 days after filing for the Memorandum of Appearance.
This process applies to both when filing for a Memorandum of Appearance for Civil Proceedings and when filing for a Memorandum of Appearance for Contested Divorces.
The Memorandum of Appearance must be prepared in advance and should follow the format specified in Form 10, Appendix A of the Rules of Court.
Form 10 can be accessed in hardcopy format at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Bureaus or as a softcopy online at eLitigation.
Critical details to include in the Memorandum of Appearance for Civil Proceedings are:
The Memorandum of Appearance must be signed by the defendant (you) or your solicitor (if represented by solicitors). If the defendant is a minor, representing a Company or lacks mental capacity, the defendant must be represented by the solicitor.
The Memorandum must be filed within 8 days upon the issuance of the Writ of Summons by the Plaintiff. If the Writ of Summons was issued outside of Singapore, the defendant has 21 days to file a Memorandum of Appearance.
Depending on the Court, a fee will be charged:
A fee of $100 is taken if the claims are up to $1 million and a fee of $200 is taken if the claims exceed $1 million. This is an additional fee on top of the $4 processing fee as well as a transmission fee of $0.80/page
A Memorandum of Appearance can be filed through the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Bureaus or online at eLitigation using Form 18 (if you are the defendant) or Form 16 (you are a co-defendant or a person named in the Statment of Claim) of the Family Justice Rules.
These forms can be located at the Family Justice Courts’ webpage or in Appendix A of the Rules of Court.
Forms 16 and 18 each require additional information asides from the details in the Memorandum of Appearance.
If you are filling up Form 16 as a co-defendant or a person named in the Statment of Claim, the additional information required are:
If you are filling up Form 18 as the defendant, the additional information required are:
If the Plaintiff has issued an Originating Summons instead of a Writ of Summons, filing a Memorandum of Appearance is not required.
Additionally, if the defendant does not wish to contest the claim made by the Plaintiff, the defendant does not need to file for a Memorandum of Appearance. The Court will issue a Judgement in Default of Appearance against you. The next appropriate course of action for the defendant is to follow the demands made by the Plaintiff in the Writ of Summons. This could include paying a sum of money to the Plaintiff.
A stamped copy of the Memorandum of Appearance will be sent back to the defendant upon filing the Memorandum of Appearance. The defendant is required to post this copy to the Plaintiff or his solicitor.
After posting the copy, the defendant is required to file their defence in court and serve a copy of the defendant’s defence to the Plaintiff or his solicitor within 14 days after filing for a Memorandum of Appearance.
The defendant can contest the validity of the service of the Writ of Summons by the Plaintiff or contest against the court’s jurisdiction, if necessary.
With permission from the Court, the defendant can still file for a Memorandum of Appearance if the defendant fails to file for a Memorandum of Appearance by the given deadline.
Failing to file a Memorandum of Appearance entirely will allow the Plaintiff to obtain a default judgment. According to the law, not filing a Memorandum of Appearance entirely is taken as the defendant admitting guilt to the allegations made by the Plaintiff in the Writ of Summons. In this case, the Court will usually grant the relief sought by the Plaintiff.
The defendant can still apply to the court to set the default judgement aside.
When the Plaintiff issues a Writ of Summons, the defendant has the choice to file or not to file a Memorandum of Appearance. In the event the defendant does not file one entirely, the Plaintiff can seek relief from the Courts although the defendant can contest this judgment made by the court.
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