After both you and the plaintiff have presented your case, the magistrate or assessor will make a decision. They will give reasons for their decision. Usually the decision is made on the same day as the hearing.
Sometimes the decision of the magistrate or assessor is 'reserved'. This means that the magistrate or assessor needs some more time to consider all the evidence. The decision will be postponed to another day and the court will contact you when the decision has been made.
If you win
If you win, the court has decided in your favour. This means you do not owe any money to the plaintiff.
The court may order that the plaintiff pay your legal costs. The court will usually make an order that costs are paid within 28 days of the date of the decision.
If you lose
If you lose the case, do not argue with the magistrate or assessor. An order may be made that you also have to pay the plaintiff's legal costs.
The court will usually order that you pay the money and pay any legal costs awarded within 28 days of the date of the decision.
If you want to appeal the decision, you must do this within 28 days of the date of the decision. You should get legal advice first.
For more information, see Appeals and reviews.
If you pay the money, the case will be finished. If you are not able to pay straight away, you have the option of seeking more time. For more information, see After court.