The simplified process framework applies to lower value claims.
Under Order 65 of Rules of Court 2021, a civil simplified case conference will be convened for all Magistrate’s Court cases, except non-injury motor accident claims, personal injury claims and medical negligence claims, which fall under the court dispute resolution framework.
Parties to a District Court case who consent to apply Order 65 of Rules of Court 2021 to their proceedings can also use the simplified process framework. They can indicate their intention by filing Form 3 of Appendix A1 of the State Court Practice Directions 2021.
A civil simplified case conference (CC) will be conducted for cases on the simplified process framework.
In the CC, the court will consider with the parties all available options for resolving the case. If a resolution cannot be reached, the court will make orders or directions to move the matter to trial or an assessment of damages.
Refer to the following for an overview of the simplified process framework:
The following applies to a case identified for the simplified process:
If all the parties are represented, the civil simplified CC will be conducted via video conferencing. If there is at least one party who is unrepresented, the civil simplified CC will be conducted by a physical hearing.
At the civil simplified CC, the court may manage the case by:
The court may also fix further civil simplified CC and direct the parties to provide further status updates. This is to ensure compliance with the directions given and to give further directions where necessary.
Further civil simplified CCs may be convened if required by the court on the parties’ application.
The court may direct the parties to file and serve the Single Application Pending Trial and/or give any directions in respect of other stand-alone applications.
A party who intends to file any application, besides those directed at a civil simplified CC, must seek the court’s approval. This can be done by filing:
Parties should agree on the directions that they are seeking from the court before they attend a civil simplified CC. If they cannot agree, they must inform the court of the items they disagree with and submit their respective positions on each item at the civil simplified CC.
A party who fails to comply with the directions given and is seeking an extension of time to comply must inform the court:
If any party fails to provide the update on the progress of the matter, the list of directions sought, or fails to comply with the court’s directions, the court may proceed to give the necessary directions to the parties, to facilitate the progress of the case.
If the action is not disposed of by the court or settled or resolved, the court will, at an appropriate stage, set down the matter for trial.
If the matter is set down by the date fixed by the court, a pre-trial case conference will be arranged and any outstanding civil simplified CC will be set aside.
When the matter has been set down, the parties should seek extended timelines and/or permission to file any further applications at the civil simplified CC or from the trial judge if one has been allocated.