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What is a small claims hearing

A Small Claims Tribunals (SCT) hearing takes place before a tribunal magistrate. The hearing happens only if the dispute was not resolved at the consultation.

You can check the date, time and venue of your hearing 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 hearing.

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

Before the hearing

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

For a hearing, you may consider this optional step:

Before the hearing, you have the option to prepare and submit a chronological list of relevant events to help you present a clear and coherent case. The tribunal magistrate will be able to read these submissions in advance.

You may upload the documents on CJTS. Under the Online Applications tab, select Submission for Hearing. If both parties complete this, the submissions by both parties can be seen on CJTS. However, if only one party submits, only the party who uploaded the submissions can see it.

On the day of the hearing

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

Take a queue number for hearing from the queue machine and wait in the waiting area. When your queue number is called, proceed to the tribunal magistrate’s hearing room.

During the hearing

The hearing will be conducted in private. During the hearing, both you and the other party will take turns to present your case and supporting evidence.

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

Your witness must attend the hearing with you to give evidence on your behalf. At the hearing, make a request to the tribunal magistrate, who will decide whether witnesses can give evidence.

Witnesses must give evidence on facts relevant to the claim. Before they testify, they will be required to take an oath or affirmation of truth before the tribunal magistrate.

At the end of the hearing

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

In some cases, the tribunal magistrate 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

Resources

Refer to A Guide to Small Claims (PDF, 716 KB).

Legislation associated with this topic includes:

2021/07/23

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