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What is a protection from harassment hearing

A hearing in the Protection from Harassment Court (PHC) takes place before a judge. The hearing happens only if the dispute was not resolved during the previous stages, which may include a case management conference (for simplified proceedings), pre-trial conference (for standard proceedings), mediation or counselling.

Both parties must attend the hearing. Find out what happens if you do not attend and how to change the court date.

Before the hearing

Refer to this checklist on what to prepare before going to court.

If you wish to call witnesses during the hearing to give evidence on your behalf, you should do all of the following:
  • Contact them in advance and check that they are willing to attend court.
  • Inform the court of the witnesses you intend to call during the pre-trial conference. The registrar may direct you to file your witnesses' statements (for simplified proceedings) or affidavits (for standard proceedings).

Witnesses are to give evidence on facts relevant to the case. Before they testify, they will be required to take an oath or affirmation of truth before the judge.

Apply for a subpoena

If your witnesses are reluctant to attend court, you may apply for a subpoena to compel them to attend.

You should apply as soon as possible before the hearing date. There are fees payable and the application is subject to the PHC's approval.

During the hearing

During the hearing, both you and the other party will take turns to present your case and the supporting evidence.

The judge will direct the flow and manner of the proceedings. The judge may ask you questions or direct you to address relevant issues.

At the end of the hearing

The judge will make a decision based on the merits of the case and according to the law. Find out more about the possible orders the judge may make.

In some cases, the judge may call for further hearing dates, or postpone the judgment to a later date instead.

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


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