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At your civil simplified case conference (from 1 Apr 2022)

Note

This page describes the simplified civil process for cases begun by an originating claim (OC) and heard in the Magistrate's Court or the District Court where all parties consent to the application of the simplified civil process.

Refer to Start a civil claim by an originating claim or Respond to a civil claim made by an originating claim instead if either of the following applies to your case:

  • Civil cases begun by an OC and heard in the General Division of the High Court.
  • Civil cases begun by an OC Writ and heard in the District Court where parties do not agree to the application of the simplified civil process.

You should bring the following for your civil simplified case conference (Civil Simplified CC):

  • Your identity card (NRIC), work permit, passport or other official identification documents that have your photo and personal particulars (photo ID).
  • Writing material to take notes (such as pens and notepad).

If you are represented by a lawyer, it is necessary for your lawyer to attend the Civil Simplified CC.

Tip

If you have lost your NRIC, work permit or passport and do not have any other photo ID, you can bring documents that support your reasons for not having a photo ID.

For example, you should bring along a police report as evidence of the loss of your NRIC. Alternatively, you can also show correspondences with the relevant agencies such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) as evidence of your attempts at obtaining a replacement NRIC or passport.

Proceedings at a Civil Simplified CC

At the Civil Simplified CC, the court may manage the case by:

  • Encouraging the parties to co-operate in the conduct of the proceedings.
  • Assisting parties to identify and narrow down issues at an early stage
  • Dealing with any interlocutory applications, including giving such directions for discovery or for the parties to file the Single Application Pending Trial ("SAPT") as may be necessary.
  • Considering with the parties whether the likely benefits of any step proposed to be taken by a party would justify the costs that will be incurred.
  • Encouraging the parties to settle the whole or part of the case.
  • Giving directions as the court thinks fit in order to ensure that the case progresses quickly (including directions for the case to proceed to trial).
  • Fixing timelines to manage and control the progress of the case.
  • Taking actions as the court thinks appropriate in the circumstances.

Outcomes of a Civil Simplified CC

Refer to the following to find out the different outcomes which may arise from the Civil Simplified CC.

A dispute is considered resolved when the parties have reached an agreement. The terms of the agreement will be recorded before the judge as a court order.

After the settlement is recorded as a court order, a party may proceed with enforcement proceedings against another party if they do not fulfil their obligations under the final judgment.

If your case cannot be settled at the Civil Simplified CC, the court will give directions to the parties for either a simplified trial or a full trial.

In general, cases that follow the simplified civil process will be fixed for a simplified trial. The court may convert a simplified trial to a full trial only if there are exceptional reasons to do so and after hearing the parties' respective positions.

Set down for trial

Once all the pre-trial matters to support a party’s case have been dealt with, the case must be set down for trial.

In general, the court will direct the party who filed the claim (the claimant) to file the Notice for Setting Down Action for Trial. The Court will also give directions to the parties to file and serve - 

  • Their affidavits of evidence-in-chief or other affidavits (if such directions have not been given earlier);
  • The bundles of documents; and
  • Their opening statements (with a page limit of 25 pages) without the need for bundles of authorities.

 

What you will need

If you are the clamiant, you will need to prepare the following before you file:

  • The Notice for Setting Down Action for Trial according to Form 19 of Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Direction 2021.
    • You must state the length of the trial, the trial dates and the witnesses (if any) for each party in the Notice
    • You will have to pay the hearing fees when filing the Notice, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
  • A bundle of documents must contain: 
    • The last pleading (which incorporates all the previous pleadings)
    • The orders of the Court given at the case conferences which are relevant for the trial; and 
    • The documents which the parties are relying on at the trial, separating them into sections for documents of which authenticity is not in dispute and documents of which authenticity is in dispute.
    • The bundle of documents must be arranged chronologically or in some other meaningful order and must not contain repeat documents or documents which have not been exchanged or produced under Order 11 of the Rules of Court 2021.

How to file

You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow the Rules of Court 2021 and the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

After you file, you must serve a copy of the Notice for Setting Down an Action for Trial on all parties within 24 hours from the time that the Notice is filed.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing the documents. You may also refer to the Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021 for the full list of court fees.

Magistrate's Court cases

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

Setting down a cause or matter for hearing or judgment

$150

Filing of the bundle

$10 plus electronic filing charge of $4 per document plus $0.60 per page

District Court cases

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

Setting down a cause or matter for hearing or judgment

$200

Filing of the bundle

$10 plus electronic filing charge of $4 per document plus $0.60 per page

Pre-Trial Case Conferences

A Pre-Trial Case Conference (Pre-Trial CC) will be conducted after the claimant files the Notice for Setting Down an Action for Trial. The court may consider the following at a Pre-Trial CC:

  • Seek an update on the status of an action.
  • Monitor the progress of the case.
  • Give necessary directions in order for the just, quick and economical resolution of the case.
  • Consider the possibility of settlement of all or any of the issues in the case or proceedings.
    • Parties who reach a settlement at a Pre-Trial CC may record the settlement in court.

Once all pre-trial matters and applications are dealt with, the court will schedule a date for the trial. In general, this will be within 28 days from the date of the Pre-Trial CC.

If there is a settlement on the issue of liability only, parties may enter a consent interlocutory judgement to assess the amount of money (also known as the quantum of damages) to be awarded to the winning party.

Depending on the nature of your case, the court may then arrange for an assessment of damages hearing.

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 Digest 2B
Legislation associated with this topic includes:
Refer to:

2022/04/05

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