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​Going to the pre-trial review 

Your case will be listed for a p​re-trial review afte​r the defendant files their defence. The court wi​ll send you a notice of the date and time that you will need to ​atte​nd court. To find out what happens at a pre-trial review, follow the steps in the guide on this page.​

Handy hintIf you are not sure how to prepare for your pre-trial review, see Preparing for the pre-trial review.

Icon: Page with numbered listGoing to the pre-trial review - Step by step guide​​​ 

Step 1: Find your courtroom 

You should arrive at court at least 30 minutes before your pre-trial review. This gives you enough time to find the courtroom that your case is in. If you are running late you should ring the court registry and let them know. The court may strike out (cancel) your statement of claim if you are not in court at the time the case is listed.

You can find your courtroom by looking at the court list. The court list will be stuck on the wall or a noticeboard in the waiting area. If it is a large court there may be lists for many different kinds of cases. Look for the list that says 'Civil List'. 

You can also find a listing using the court list mobile app​.

Make a note of the number of your case in the list and check which courtroom your case is in. If you cannot find your case on the list ask a court officer or go to the court registry.

For more information on how to find your courtroom, watch the video below. ​​

​You can​ also read a transcript ​​​of th​is ​video​ (48kb).

This video is available with the audio description​.

Step 2: Attend the pre-trial review 

After you find your courtroom, you can go in and sit in the gallery (the chairs at the back of the courtroom) or you can wait outside the courtroom. Remember to turn off your mobile phone before going inside. 

There are often many cases scheduled on the same day and time as your case and you have to wait until your name is called. Make sure you are close enough to the courtroom to hear the court officer call your name. If you are not there when you are called, your case may be dealt with without you.

Usually a judicial officer called a registrar hears pre-trial reviews but in some courts a magistrate or assessor may be dealing with the pre-trial review. When talking to the judicial officer you call the registrar 'Registrar'. Magistrates are called 'Your Honour' and assessors can be called 'Sir', 'Madam' or 'Assessor'. 

You should sit in the seats at the back of the courtroom and wait until your name is called. When your case is called you should go and sit at the table at the front of the courtroom. This is called the bar table.

Handy hintThe registrar may adjourn (close) the courtroom for morning tea, usually around 11:30am and for lunch, usually from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. You have to leave the courtroom during these breaks.

Step 3: Discuss settlement

One aim of the pre-trial review is to try to settle the dispute. 

When your name is called, the registrar will ask if you have had a chance to discuss settlement with the defendant. The registrar may also ask some questions about the case and may suggest that you and the defendant (or their lawyer) go outside the courtroom to talk about settling the case if you have not already done so. 

You may be referred to Community Justice Centres (CJC)​ for mediation. For more information on mediation, see Mediation in the Legal Skills topic of Representing Yourself. 

If you are able to settle the case, either at the pre-trial review or at a mediation session or through private discussions, the court can make orders based on your settlement agreement. For more information, see Settling your case

Step 4: Note any case management orders 

Another aim of the pre-trial review is to make sure that you are prepared for the hearing. The registrar will make case management orders.

The registrar may: 

  • ​ask what the issues are
  • ask which witness statements and documents you will use at the hearing
  • set a date for the hearing (this could be between one and four months away)
  • tell you to send copies of all witness statements and other evidence that you will be relying on at the hearing to the defendant and to the court at least 14 days before the hearing date.

If you want to issue a subpoena you should ask the registrar for leave (permission) at the pre-trial review. For more information, see Subpoenas

If you want to attend the hearing by telephone, ask for leave to do this at the pre-trial review. Leave will usually only be granted if you live a long way from the court.

You may have to write the above information on a pre-trial review sheet and give it to the registrar. Blank pre-trial review sheets will be on the bar table. Usually the registrar will fill in the pre-trial review sheet if you do not have a lawyer. 

Instructions: Instructions for filling out a pre-trial review sheet.
Sample: Sample pre-trial review sheet – debt
Sample: Sample pre-trial review sheet – car accidents

You should write down on a separate piece of paper the information written on the pre-trial review sheet and keep it for your own records. It is very important that you follow the orders made by the registrar.

For more information on what to expect at the​ pre-trial review, watch the video below.

​You can also read a transcript of this video Word icon(57kb).

This video is available with the audio description​.