How to Take a Business to Court

Businesses who decide to exclude people due to their medical status have chosen a very dangerous path. They could end up in court where there is every reason to believe they will lose. The punishments for breaking the law are severe.

If you have been denied entry to a business premises because you refuse to divulge your private medical information, that business is breaking the law. You have a right to stop them by summoning them to court. This is how you do it.

Step One: Issue a Warning

Write a text or email to, or visit the business owner or manager to complain about the treatment you have received. State only the events that happened.

For example, “On DATE, I was refused entry into your business premises by NAME OF EMPLOYEE after I refused to reveal my private medical information. You should be aware that denying anyone entry to a business premises that is normally open to the public is a criminal offence. You have breached the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 Section 51(xxiiiA), and the Privacy Act Section 94H(c)(i)(ii). A ‘mandate’ is not a law, and therefore you have no right to refuse me entry or service.”

Keep this first warning simple and clear. You are informing them that they have already committed a crime. It is up to them to read the laws and then take any steps to remedy the harm they have done.

Step Two: Issue a 2nd Warning

If they continue to refuse you entry or service, or insist that they must follow the government’s mandate, then send them a second warning. Point out the laws they are breaking again, warn them that the penalties for breaking the law are serious, and ask them to stop breaking the law. Tell them you expect them to open their premises to all without any demands to ask about anyone’s private medical status.

Step Three: Issue a Final Warning

If that doesn’t stop them, then you should fill out the Complaint Summons below and get it signed and sealed. A JP or a Court Registrar can sign in Queensland and South Australia. In all other states and Territories the Complaint Summons must be signed by a court registrar.

It has been our experience that most Registrars will not sign a Complaint Summons, so you may have to look around to find one that will.

After you get the form signed and sealed, it’s time to serve the Complaint Summons on the business.

You can take the signed and sealed Complaint Summons yourself to the business owner or manager and tell them that you want to give them one more chance to stop breaking the law. This mediation is important, as it shows that you are standing in honour, and it gives them the opportunity to offer remedy.

If they do offer a remedy to stop demanding private information before entering their premises, then you can thank them and walk away. However, you should warn them that if they refuse, you will take the Complaint and Summons to file in court and they will have to appear in court when ordered to answer the charges.

If they continue to deny you entry, and refuse to stop committing the crimes, then you should hand them a copy of signed, sealed Complaint Summons and say, “You have been served.”

Then go to your local court and file the Complaint Summons with the Court Registrar.

Download the Complaint Summons here:

Download a sample Complaint Summons

If you have been refused entry into a business premises because you refuse to sign in with a QR code, or because you will not wear a mask, download this form and fill it out with your own details. Then get it signed and sealed to serve on the business owner or manager.

Size: 38KB

How to Serve a Summons to Court

You have been served

When a document is filed with the Magistrates’ Court, the other party or parties in a matter must be served with a copy of that document. The timeframes for service are dependent on the document filed. 

Any person can carry out service, but there are legal requirements depending on the individual or business being served. There are also special rules about the way in which you must serve documents on children and people with a disability. Check with your local court Registrar if you need information and help. Or, you can seek the services of a process server who will ensure documentation is served correctly.

The person who serves a court document(s) must complete an Affidavit of Service to outline how and when it was served. The affidavit must be witnessed and sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised person before it is filed with the Magistrates’ Court.

Download a Sample Affidavit of Service here:

Sample Affidavit of Service

This is a sample Affidavit of Service used in Queensland. Ask your local court registrar to supply the Affidavit form if you live in any other state.

Size: 219KB

Follow these steps to serve the Summons yourself:

When court documents are served in person, it is called personal service. You should ask your State Court for guidelines on how that personal service can be carried out, but in general, this is how it works:

  • by leaving a copy of the document with the person to be served or, if the person does not accept the copy, by putting the copy down in the person’s presence and telling the person the nature of the document; or
  • by delivering a copy of the document to the place of residence of the person to be served to a person apparently above the age of 16 years who resides at that place but when the place of residence is a hotel, boarding house or similar establishment, to some person apparently above that age who is apparently in charge of the establishment or engaged in the office of the establishment; or
  • if the person to be served conducts a business, by delivering a copy of the document to the place of business of the person to be served to a person apparently above the age of 16 years who is apparently in charge of that business or is employed in the office of that business.

If service is to be carried out on a corporation, you should seek advice or refer to your state’s Corporations Act (Administrative Actions).

When you deliver the Complaint Summons, hand the document to the person. If they ask what it is you should only say, “You have been served.” Then walk away. Do not engage in any conversation with them to avoid any future complications in court.

What happens next?

After you have served the Complaint Summons it is up to the court to set a date and inform you and the defendant when to appear in court. Both parties must appear in court on the day and time set.

Then it is up to the defendant to fight the case.

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