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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

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. 

    What is​​ a hearing?

    A hearing is where you and your employer each present your side of the story to the judge and ask them to make a decision about your case.

    A hearing is the next step if you and your employer cannot come to an agreement at mediation. A hearing date will be set on a different day, usually several months after the mediation has taken place.

    icon - hintAt a directions hearing, the judge may ask if you and your employer want to have your case 'heard on the papers'. This means that the judge can make a decision based on all the evidence and other documents that are filed, without the need to personally attend a hearing.

    Icon - alert  You should get legal advice about whether your case could, or should, be heard on the papers, before you go to court.

    At a hearing, you will be given a chance to present your evidence (including any witnesses). The employer will also have a chance to present their evidence. After this, a judge will make a decision in your case and make orders. The orders could include that:

    • your employer pay you the wages and entitlements you are owed
    • your employer pay a fine (penalty)
    • you get paid some of your legal costs
    • your case be dismissed.

    Preparing for the hearing

    Before the hearing you should start preparing your case. The judge at the directions hearing will have made orders telling you:

    • the date of the hearing
    • what you must do before the hearing (for example, file witness statements or affidavits by a certain date).

    For more information on how to prepare for the hearing, see Preparing for the hearing.

    Presenting your case at the hearing

    Before you go to the hearing, you need to understand how a hearing works and plan how you are going to present your case.

    For more information, see Presenting your case at the hearing.

    The decision

    After you and your employer have presented your evidence, the judge will make a decision about your case. The decision may be made straight away, or reserved (postponed) to another day.

    For more information, see The decision.

     

    Furthe​r information

    Fe​​​deral Circuit Court