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What is a small claims consultation

A consultation at the Small Claims Tribunals (SCT) is a court proceeding in which a registrar will facilitate a discussion between both parties. The aim is to resolve the dispute without moving on to a hearing.

You can check the date, time and venue of your consultation through the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS).

Note: You will receive a notification via email 3 days before and via SMS 1 day before the consultation.

Both the claimant and respondent must attend the consultation. Find out what happens if you do not attend.

Before the consultation

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

On the day of the consultation

Proceed to the SCT at Level 3 of the State Courts.

Take a queue number for consultation from the queue machine and wait in the waiting area. When your queue number is called, proceed to the registrar’s chambers.

During the consultation, all parties involved in the case will meet with a registrar to discuss the case. The registrar will facilitate a discussion to give you and the other party an opportunity to resolve your dispute.

Possible outcomes of the consultation

If a settlement is reached

If parties reach a settlement during the consultation, the registrar may record a consent order to reflect their agreement.

Parties will receive a copy of the consent order from the registrar or online through CJTS, or both.

If a settlement is not reached

If parties do not reach a settlement, the registrar will give further directions for the case. The registrar may:

  • Arrange for a hearing before a tribunal magistrate. This can occur within 24 hours of the date of the consultation.
  • Arrange for further consultations.
  • Direct the parties to seek mediation.
  • Discontinue the claim, if it does not fall within what the SCT can hear.
  • (If a party is absent) Issue a default order against the party.
  • (If the claimant is absent) Dismiss the claim.

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 A Guide to Small Claims (PDF, 544 KB)

Legislation associated with this topic includes:


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