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File documents for use in a simplified civil trial (from 1 Apr 2022)

Note

This page describes the simplified trial 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 Going to court for a civil trial 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 and heard in the District Court where parties do not agree to the application of the simplified civil process.

Prepare for a simplified civil trial

A simplified civil trial will be arranged for most cases which are not resolved at the Civil Simplified Case Conference.

In general, simplified civil trials do not exceed 1 day to save time and costs for the parties.

Documents to file

Parties should file the following documents before the simplified civil trial:

Refer to the following to find out how to prepare them, and when and where to file them.

A bundle of affidavits of evidence-in-chief contains the originals of your witnesses' affidavits that you intend to rely on at trial. You must file the bundle of affidavits of evidence-in-chief. 

Find out how to prepare an affidavit.

To prepare for the trial, you should also:

  • Familiarise yourself with all the affidavits of evidence-in-chief you have filed.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask your witnesses and the other party's witnesses.

A bundle of documents contains the documents that you will be relying on or referring to in the course of the trial, including any documents that are exhibited in the AEICs of all witnesses.

If you are the party who filed the claim (the claimant), you must file the bundle of documents within timelines directed by the court.

The contents of the bundle of the documents should be agreed on between all parties as far as possible. If parties are unable to agree on the inclusion of certain documents, the documents on which agreement cannot be reached should be included in separate bundles.

Each of the separate bundles should be filed by the party that intends to rely on or refer to the documents in these bundles at the same time as the main bundle of documents. Only documents that are relevant or necessary for the trial should be included in the bundles.

An opening statement is a written summary of your case and the issues to be decided by the court, both of fact and law.

This enables the judge to appreciate what the case is about, and what the judge is to look out for when reading and listening to the evidence that will follow.

Opening statements also help to clarify issues between the parties, so that unnecessary time is not spent on trying to prove what is not disputed or irrelevant.

How to prepare

Each party will have to file and serve their opening statement on the other party before the trial. 

In the case of the claimant, the statement must include the following: (i) a summary of essential facts indicating which, if any, are agreed; (ii) an indication of how these facts are to be proved, identifying relevant witnesses and documents; (iii) a summary of the issues involved with cross-references as appropriate to the pleadings; (iv) a summary of the claimant’s case in relation to each of the issues with references to the key documents relied upon, and a summary of the propositions of law to be advanced with references to the main authorities to be relied on; and (v) an explanation of the reliefs claimed (if these are unusual or complicated).

The character of the other party’s opening statement will depend on the circumstances of the case. However, it should, generally, state concisely the nature of their case on each of the issues to be tried and summarise the propositions of law to be advanced with references to the main authorities to be relied on.

A party’s opening statement is subject to a page limit of 25 pages, unless the Court has allowed the page limit to be exceeded.

When to file

You should file  your opening statement within the timelines directed by the Court.

A bundle of authorities contains the authorities or cases, statutes, subsidiary legislation and any other materials that you intend to rely on at trial.

Only authorities which are relevant or necessary for the trial should be included. If you are relying on any authority at the trial, you must file and serve the bundle of authorities on the other party within the timelines directed by the court.

If you are not relying on any authority at the trial, it is not necessary to file a bundle of authorities.

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 all documents via 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.

Bringing witnesses to court

You must notify all your witnesses of the trial date and the courtroom allocated for the trial. If your witness does not attend court, their affidavits you have submitted as evidence-in-chief may be rejected by the court.

If a witness is unwilling to attend court, you may apply for an order to attend Court or produce document via eLitigation requiring them to attend court on the specified date and time.

There are 3 types of Orders to attend court or produce document you may apply for, depending on the nature of your case. This includes:

  • Requiring the witness to attend court to give oral evidence.
  • Requiring the witness to produce documents without the obligation to attend court personally.
  • Requiring the witness to give evidence and produce documents in court.

Refer to Arrange for interpretation services if your witness is not comfortable communicating in English.

Estimated fees

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

Item or service

Fees

File the bundle of documents

$10 and electronic filing charge of $4 plus $0.60 per page.

File a order to attend court/produce documents (other than an urgent order)

$10

File an affidavit or an affidavit of evidence-in-chief

$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

File the bundle of authorities

electronic filing charge of $4 plus $0.60 per page.

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

File the bundle of documents

$10 and electronic filing charge of $4 plus $0.60 per page.

File a order to attend court/produce documents (other than an urgent order)

$10

File an affidavit or an affidavit of evidence-in-chief

$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

File the bundle of authorities

electronic filing charge of $4 plus $0.60 per page.

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 include:
Refer to:

2022/04/05

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