A pre-trial conference (PTC) (for matters commenced before 1 April 2022) or case conference (CC) (for matters commenced on or after 1 April 2022) is a meeting conducted by a Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals (CDRT) officer called a registrar, together with the parties involved in the case.
Attendance at the PTC or CC is compulsory. If you are unable to attend your PTC or CC on the given date, you may request to change your court date on the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS), subject to the approval of the CDRT.
The registrar may make the following orders during a PTC or CC to give the parties an opportunity to resolve their dispute amicably:
If the dispute is settled during mediation or counselling, parties may sign a settlement agreement.
The party who filed the claim (the plaintiff - for matters commenced before 1 April 2022, or claimant - for matters commenced on or after 1 April 2022) may then withdraw the claim via CJTS under the Online Applications tab by selecting Withdrawal Request Form. When a claim is withdrawn, the matter will be taken as concluded and there will be no further proceedings at the CDRT.
Alternatively, parties may request the CDRT to record the settlement terms into a consent order. Refer to Example cases of neighbour disputes to read about past cases heard by the CDRT and the consent orders the parties agreed to.
If both parties are unable to settle their dispute at the PTC, the registrar will give further directions on how the case should proceed. This may include ordering further PTCs for the case or schedule a date for a hearing before a tribunal judge for the case.
A Notice of Hearing stating the date and time to attend the hearing will be issued to the parties.
You will have to bear the cost of the witness’s attendance and testimony at the hearing (if any).