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The first time that you go to court is called the 'mention'.
You should make sure that you arrive at the court at the correct time. It is a good idea to arrive at least 15 minutes early. This will give you time to:
Don't forget to turn off your mobile phone before going into the courtroom.
You should refer to the magistrate as 'Your honour'. You should stand and bow when the magistrate enters or leaves the courtroom. For more information, see
Who's who in court.
The magistrate will ask you and your neighbour some questions about your matter, including whether you and your neighbour have tried to come to an agreement or attended mediation. If you have not been to mediation, the magistrate may adjourn (postpone) the case so that you and your neighbour can attend mediation.
You should be prepared to explain in a few sentences what your matter is about. If the case is ready to be listed for hearing, you should be prepared to tell the magistrate:
The magistrate will then give you a date for the hearing of your case. The magistrate may also give you directions about the date that your evidence needs to be served on (given to) your neighbour.
If you, or any of your witnesses, need an interpreter, you should tell the court as soon as possible so that one can be arranged for the hearing. The court will pay for the interpreter.
The next step is to prepare your case for the hearing. For more information, see: