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About Community Dispute Resolution Tribunals proceedings

Only parties involved in a neighbour dispute claim and the witnesses who have been called to give evidence are allowed to be present at the Community Dispute Resolution Tribunals (CDRT) proceedings.

Unless the CDRT orders otherwise, the following persons are not allowed to be present during the proceedings:

  • Members of the press.
  • Members of the public.
  • Immediate family members, relatives and friends who are not parties to the proceedings.
    • Non-parties who been called to give evidence are allowed to be present in the proceedings.

Both parties to a claim must first attend a pre-trial conference (PTC) where the court will attempt to resolve the dispute.

If the matter cannot be settled at the PTC, a date for a hearing before a tribunal judge may be scheduled for the case.

Attendance is compulsory

Both the plaintiff (the party who filed the claim) and the respondent (the party against whom the claim was filed) must attend every PTC and CDRT hearing.

If either party is absent from their PTC or hearing, the court may continue with the proceedings and issue a default order against the absent party. For example, if you are the claimant, your claim may be dismissed. If you are the respondent, a default order may be made in favour of the claimant.

Tip
If you are unable to attend your PTC or hearing on the given date, you may request to change your court date subject to the approval of the CDRT.

You can apply via the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) under the Online Applications tab by selecting Request for Change of Court Date. You will have to provide the reasons for your application and upload supporting documents to substantiate your reasons stated.

What to bring

You will need to bring along the following documents for your PTC or hearing:

  • Your personal identification documents.
    • (For Singapore citizens or permanent residents) National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) or passport.
    • (For foreign citizens) Passport and employment pass.
  • A set of the documents uploaded onto CJTS.
    • (For the plaintiff) The claim and all supporting evidence.
    • (For the respondent) The reply and all supporting evidence.
  • The Notice of Pre-trial Conference.
  • The Notice of Hearing (where applicable).

Hearing fees

There are no charges for attending a PTC.

You may have to pay the following fees depending on the number of days you have to attend court for your hearing.

Number of hearing days

Hearing fees per day

1st day

$0

2nd and 3rd day after the first day

$100

After the 3rd day

$250

Note
There are no court fees for any scheduled day for delivery of a tribunal's order.

Representation in the Community Dispute Resolution Tribunals

In general, you must present your own case during CDRT proceedings. Lawyers are not allowed to represent any party during a PTC or hearing unless:

  • The CDRT gives permission to do so.
  • All parties to the proceedings agree for a party to be represented by a lawyer.
You may be represented by another person only in the following situations, provided that the court is satisfied that:
  • The person representing you has sufficient authority to bind you.
  • The person representing you has sufficient knowledge of the case.

If you are...

You can be represented by...

Below 21 years old and the CDRT is of the opinion that you are unable to present your own case

  • Your parent.
  • Your guardian.
  • Any person approved by the CDRT.

Unable to present their own case because of old age, illiteracy or infirmity of mind or body

A person who is duly authorised in writing by you and approved by the CDRT.

Not living in Singapore and unable to remain in Singapore until the hearing of the case

A person who is duly authorised in writing by you and approved by the CDRT.

If you wish to be represented by another person, you must first apply for representation subject to the approval of the CDRT. You can apply via CJTS under the Online Applications tab by selecting Application for Representative.

Note
You will have to provide a valid letter of authorisation for the person representing you in CDRT proceedings. This is because the court needs to be certain that the person appearing in court is duly authorised and appointed by you.

Find out how to prepare a letter of authorisation.

You may apply to have one of the following people to accompany you during your PTC or hearing under the Community Courts and Tribunals (CCT) Friend Scheme:

Your request under the CCT Friend Scheme is subject to the approval of the CDRT.

Find out about the CCT friend scheme and how to apply.

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 the Guide to Neighbour Dispute Claims (PDF, 4099 KB).
Refer to Paragraph 141 and 141A of the State Courts Practice Directions for community dispute resolution.
Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

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