​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 |

Preparing for the hearing

If you make an application to recover unpaid wages and entitlements to the Federal Circuit Court using the small claims procedure, the judge may want to hear your case on the first court date. If this happens, some of the information that follows may still apply to your case and you should read it before you go to court.

There are four steps you need to take to prepare for a hearing at the Federal Circuit Court​

Alert iconeIf th​e c​ourt m​​ade orders that you do not have to attend a hearing ​in person, you will not need to present your case at court, but y​ou will still n​​eed to prepare, file and serve evidence. The judge​​ will lo​ok at the evid​ence and make a decision without the parties being present. This is sometimes called having your case 'heard on the papers'. ​​​If you are not sure if you have to go to a hearing, you should get legal advice.

 Preparing for the hearing - Step by step guide

Step 1: Complete the Statement of Claim or 'points o​​f claim'

You only need to follow this step if the court made an order about you filing and serving a Statement of Claim or 'points of claim'. You should check the orders made by the court at the directions hearings for your case. If you are not sure whether you need to file and serve a Statement of Claim or 'points of claim', you should contact the court to find out what orders were made.

A Statement of Claim is a document that provides further details of what the applicant (you) says the issues are, and what laws they say the employer broke. It is sometimes called 'points of claim'. A Statement of Claim should explain your case and what you want (the 'remedy').

Preparing a Statement of Claim can be complicated so you should get legal advice first.

For information on completing a Statement of Claim, see Statement of Claim.

Take the Statement of Clai​m to the registry

Once you have completed the Statement of Claim, make two extra copies. You will need to file the original and the two copies at the court registry. The registry will stamp them with the seal of the court.

Serve the Statement of​ Claim

You then have to serve (give) a sealed (stamped) copy to your employer by the date that the court ordered you to at a directions hearing. You can serve it on them at their address for service, which should be on their Response. If they have a lawyer the address for service will usually be the lawyer's address. You can serve it in person, by post or by fax.

Make sure you serve the Statement of Claim or 'points of claim' by the date ordered by the court at the first or further directions hearing.

Wait for the employe​r's Response

After you have served the Statement of Claim, your employer will usually have to file and serve a Defence, or a Response to your Points of claim. They will need to serve it on you by the date ordered by the court at the first or further directions hearing. If they don't, you should get legal advice.

For more information on what is in a Defence, see Statement of Claim.

Step 2: Prepare​​ your evidence

The court will usually make an order that you have to 'serve evidence' on your employer by a particular date. Evidence will usually be given in writing in the form of a written statement or affidavit. An affidavit is like a statement, but you also swear or affirm, in front of a lawyer or Justice of the Peace (JP), that what you say in it is true.

Your statements or affidavits should include any documents that support your case, for example, pay slips and time sheets. If you think you need to get documents from a third party, or from your employer, you can subpoena them. A subpoena is a court order that requires a person or company to give documents to the court.

For more information about how to prepare evidence, see Evide​nce​.

Step 3: Plan what to take to court

You will need to take these things with you to the hearing:

  • your application and claim form, and your employer's Response
  • your Statement of Claim (if you had to prepare one)
  • your employer's Defence (if they had to prepare one)
  • copies of any orders made at directions hearings
  • your affidavits or statements, and affidavits or statements served on you by your employer
  • annexures and exhibits to any of the affidavits or statements being used in the case
  • your notes for speaking to the judge
  • a notebook and pen to make notes during the hearing
  • highlighters and post-it notes to mark important information
  • your witnesses.

Step 4: Plan what you are going to say in court

When you are at the hearing, you will have to show the court:

  • what award or enterprise agreement applies to your employment
  • what you should be paid or what you are entitled to
  • that your employer did not pay your correct wage or other entitlements.

To do this you will need to:

  • briefly tell the judge why you have made your claim (including under which award or enterprise agreement you should have received your wage or entitlement)
  • tell the judge the names of the witnesses who have prepared affidavits or statements and identify any documents, such as pay slips or letters which support your case
  • explain to the judge what part of the employer's evidence you disagree with and why.

To help you prepare, you could practice saying what you want to say with a friend or relative. You could also go to the Federal Circuit Court and watch some hearings. If you phone the court, you can find out the dates and times that small claim hearings are held. Courts are open to the public (except if a case involves a child) and you can sit in the public area at the back of any court and watch.

For more information, see Presenting your case at the hearing