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Your case will be listed for a pre-trial review after the defendant files their defence. The Court will send you a notice of the date and time that you will need to attend the pre-trial review. Pre-trial reviews are dealt with remotely in the Small Claims Division unless the Court has granted leave for the parties to appear in person. To find out what happens at a pre-trial review, follow the steps in the guide on this page.
If you are not sure how to prepare for your pre-trial review, see
Preparing for the pre-trial review.
If you are attending remotely, be prepared to receive a phone call from the court. Find a quiet room and make sure that you are not distracted or interrupted by others.
If you don't receive a call, you should call the registry directly.
If the Local Court has granted leave and directed the parties to appear in person, 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
Make a note of the number of your case in the list and check which courtroom your case is in. If you can't find your case on the list ask a court officer or go to the court registry.
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. Remember to turn off your mobile phone if you are at court.
For more information on how to find your courtroom, watch the video below.
You can also read a
transcript of this video (48kb).
This video is available with the
The 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.
One aim of the pre-trial review is to try to settle the dispute.
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'.
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) 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.
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:
If you want to rely on video footage, you should ask the Court if they have the equipment to play the footage and in what form you should file the footage, for example a flash drive.
If you want to issue a subpoena you should ask the registrar for leave (permission) at the pre-trial review. For more information, see
You may have to write the above information on a pre-trial review sheet and give it to the registrar. 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 – debtSample: 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