New Zealand Law
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If these amounts are not in dispute, then you could try to bring a summary judgment proceeding in the District Court. But it may be easier if you are doing this yourself, to bring this as an ordinary proceeding. Your cause of action would be that there is a verbal agreement in which the parties agreed to pay the overheads on the basis as you have outlined. This verbal agreement is a contract, which your son-in-law has breached by failing to make the payments. A verbal contract is just as good as a written contract, and you can use emails, letters and texts as evidence of the arrangement and the default. So you are suing for breach of contract. To start this case you would need to file a statement of claim, notice of proceeding and attach all relevant documents. This would need to be served on your son-in-law. If he took no steps to defend, you could obtain judgment by default. If he does file a statement of defence in this matter will go to a pre-trial conference to set a timetable which will take this to a hearing. It is likely to be treated as a simplified trial because the issues are relatively simple. It is not essential to use a lawyer in the District Court, and you can act for yourself. If you need assistance with finding resources then the ministry of Justice has an excellent website.