​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Pre Trial Review - Frequently Asked Questions

If the debt is a mortgage, loan or credit card you should get legal advice. You may have other options.


1. Do I ​​have to​​ go to the Pre Trial ​​Review?

You need to go to the Pre Trial Review. If you do not go to the Pre Trial Review and do not contact the court to explain why you are not going to be at court, your claim could be dismissed (if you are the plaintiff) or your Defence 'struck out' (if you are the defendant).

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2. What if I can't go to ​​court on the Pre Trial Review date?

If you know ahead of time that you cannot get to court for the Pre Trial Review, you should contact the court as soon as possible and ask to attend the Pre Trial Review by telephone.

If you cannot attend in person or by telephone (for example, if you know you will be overseas or in hospital on that date), you should write to the court as soon as possible and ask for the Pre Trial review to be postponed to another date. It will help if you are able to attach evidence of your travel plans (such as a copy of your ticket) or medical treatment (such as a letter from your doctor). You should send a copy of this letter to the other party in the case or their lawyer.

If you are sick or there is an emergency that stops you going to the Pre Trial Review, you should try and send a fax to the court before 9.30am telling the court why you cannot attend the Pre Trial Review and asking for it to be postponed to another date. If it is not possible to send a fax, you should contact the court by telephone before 9.30am. You may be ordered to pay the costs of the other party for their time wasted in coming to court that day. If you don't contact the court you risk your claim being dismissed or your defence being struck out, and a costs order being made against you.

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3. What if I am running late for the​​ Pre Trial Review?

If you are running late for the Pre Trial Review it is important that you ring the court registry and let them know. Otherwise, you risk your claim being dismissed or your Defence being struck out. A costs order could also be made against you if you are not in the courtroom when your case is dealt with.


4. What happens if the plaintiff​​ doesn't come to the Pre Trial Review?

It depends on whether the plaintiff has contacted the court and what excuse they have given. If the plaintiff has contacted the court and requested that the Pre Trial Review be adjourned (postponed) to another date, the registrar may agree to this.

If the plaintiff has not contacted the court, you can ask for the plaintiff's Statement of Claim to be dismissed. This means that the court case will end because the plaintiff has not taken the necessary steps to pursue the claim.

Usually the court won't dismiss the Statement of Claim the first time the plaintiff doesn't come to court. The first time the plaintiff fails to attend the court, the registrar is more likely to postpone the Pre Trial Review.

If this is not the first Pre Trial Review that the plaintiff has failed to attend the registrar is more likely to dismiss the claim.


5. What is mediation?​

At mediation there is an independent person, called the mediator, who helps the parties try and settle their dispute through discussion and negotiation. The mediation is confidential and all discussions are 'without prejudice'. This means that anything said during the mediation cannot be used against a party if the case goes to a court hearing later.


6. What happens if the case​​ settles at the Pre Trial Review?

The registrar can make orders, called consent orders, based on the agreement reached by the parties. For more information, see Settling the case


7. How long will the Pre Trial​​ Review take?

You will probably be at the court for about an hour. However, it could be a shorter or longer time depending on how many other cases are on the court list that day. 


8. What should I wear to the Pre Trial​​ Review?

You do not have to dress very formally, but you will be expected to be neat and tidy.


9. My witness does not want to​ write a statement. What can I do about this at the Pre Trial Review?

You can explain to the registrar that one of your witnesses does not want to write a statement. You could ask the registrar to order that the witness must attend the hearing to give evidence in person, and get permission for a subpoena to be issued directing the witness to come and give evidence.

However, it is rare for witnesses to give evidence in person at Small Claims Division hearings, and you would have to persuade the registrar that the evidence was very important for your case.

For more information, see Subpoenas - Step by step guide.

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10. At the Pre Trial Review the​ registrar told me to file an amended Defence. How do I do this?

After speaking to you and the Plaintiff about the case, the registrar may direct you to file an amended Defence. This could be because you have not clearly set out the basis of your Defence.

You should make a note of the reasons why the registrar has directed you to file an amended Defence. You may need to get some legal advice about what changes you need to make.

An amended Defence must:

  • state the date of the order directing that an amended Defence be filed
  • state how deleted sections and new sections will be shown (for example, amendments are underlined)
  • keep the same paragraph numbers
  • be dated.

The registrar will tell you when to file the amended Defence, usually within 14 days of the Pre Trial Review. If you are not sure, you should contact the court registry and ask them to tell you what the registrar ordered.

You may also want to file an amended Defence if you have been served with an Amended Statement of Claim. If you have been served with an amended Statement of Claim, and the registrar has not told you to file an amended Defence, you should get legal advice.

For an example of an amended Defence, see Sample amended Defence.

Car icon  If the claim is about a car accident and you need to amend your Defence, see Sample amended Defence - car accidents.