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About pre-trial or case conferences

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.

You will receive a notification via email 3 days before and via SMS 1 day before your PTC or CC.

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.

What to expect

The registrar may make the following orders during a PTC or CC to give the parties an opportunity to resolve their dispute amicably:

  • An order for the parties to attend mediation.
  • An order for the parties to attend counselling.
    • Parties may be directed by the registrar to attend counselling by a court counsellor or an external counsellor.
    • A party who fails to comply with an order to attend counselling may be liable for contempt of court and may be fined or imprisoned.

If a settlement is reached

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 When a claim is withdrawn, the matter will be taken as concluded and there will be no further proceedings at the CDRT.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 a settlement is not reached

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.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more


Refer to the Guide to Neighbour Dispute Claims (PDF, 366 KB).
Refer to: 

Related questions

You may make an application to the CDRT to order the witness to attend the hearing, subject to the CDRT’s approval.

You will have to bear the cost of the witness’s attendance and testimony at the hearing (if any).

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide


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