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This page describes the pre-trial processes for civil cases begun by a Writ of Summons (Writ) and heard in the Magistrate’s Court (non-injury motor accident action and any action for personal injuries), the District Court, and the General Division of the High Court.

Refer to Start a civil claim by Writ of Summons (simplified civil process) or Respond to a civil claim made by a Writ of Summons (simplified civil process) instead if either of the following applies to your case:

  • Civil cases begun by a Writ and heard in the Magistrate's Court (except non-injury motor accident action and any action for personal injuries).
  • Civil cases begun by a Writ and heard in the District Court where all parties consent to the application of the simplified civil process.

About interlocutory applications

Before a case is ready for trial, parties involved in a civil case may make other applications to the court to further the preparation of their case during the pre-trial stages. These are known as interlocutory applications.

Interlocutory applications can be heard ex parte (with no other parties being served with the application) or inter partes (with one or more parties being served with the application).

Refer to the following for examples of interlocutory applications parties may file.

Type of application

What it does

Application for the discovery of documents

This seeks an order for parties to disclose relevant documents in their possession, custody or power.

Application for amendment

This seeks an order for leave (permission) to amend a document filed in the proceedings.

Application for default judgment

This seeks an order for leave to enter default judgment against a party who failed to enter an appearance or file a defence within the prescribed time limits.

Application for summary judgment

This seeks an order for leave to enter judgment summarily against the party against whom the claim is made (the defendant) without trial, on the ground (reason) that the defendant has no defence to a claim.

Application for dismissal of an action for want of prosecution

This seeks an order dismissing the claim when the party filing the claim (the plaintiff) has been guilty of an excessive and inexcusable delay in the prosecution of the action.

Application for striking out a party's pleadings

This seeks an order to strike out a pleading. The usual grounds (reasons) may be any of the following:

  • It discloses no reasonable cause of action or defence.
  • It is scandalous, frivolous or vexatious.
  • It may prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the action.
  • It is an abuse of the process of the court.

Application for provision of further and better particulars

This seeks an order requiring a party to provide further and better particulars of pleadings.

Application for the provision of security of costs

The seeks an order for the plaintiff to provide security for the defendant's cost in defending the action.

What you will need

In general, an interlocutory application begins when a party files a summons together with an affidavit to support it.

You should prepare the following before you file:

  • The summons in accordance with Form 60 of the Rules of Court, or another form specified in the relevant provision of the Rules of Court.
    • The summons should set out the directions or orders which you wish to obtain from the court.
  • The affidavit.
    • The affidavit should set out the facts in support of the interlocutory application.
    • Find out how to prepare an affidavit.

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 and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

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

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing an interlocutory application. You may also refer to Appendix B of the Rules of Court for the full list of court fees.

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 a summons

$20

File a summons for summary judgment, striking out a party's pleadings or further or specific discovery

$100

File the affidavit

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

Refer to the following for the filing fees if your claim is up to $1 million. 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 a summons

$100

File a summons for summary judgment, striking out a party's pleadings or further or specific discovery

$500

File the affidavit

$2 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $50 per affidavit

Refer to the following for the filing fees if your claim is more than $1 million. 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 a summons

$200

File a summons for summary judgment, striking out a party's pleadings or further or specific discovery

$1,000

File the affidavit

$2 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $50 per affidavit

After you file

Refer to the following to find out what happens after you file an ex parte or inter partes summons.

Refer to the following to find out what happens after you file an ex parte summons in the respective courts.

For Magistrate’s Court and District Court cases

The court may proceed to make orders or issue directions after reviewing the ex parte summons along with the accompanying affidavit (if any).

Alternatively, the court may issue directions and schedule a "paper" hearing via eLitigation. In this case, the court may direct parties to file written submissions, supplementary affidavits or documents supporting orders the parties wish to obtain at least 5 working days before the designated "paper" hearing date.

If the required papers are not filed by the stipulated deadline, the application may be struck out, dismissed or ruled against the defaulting party.

After the hearing, parties will be notified of the court's directions or orders by way of a Registrar's Direction.

For General Division of the High Court cases

If you filed an ex parte summons, you will be notified via email or SMS on whether the filing of your summons has been accepted.

If the filing of your summons has been accepted, you will have to collect the sealed summons at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. You may be notified of the outcome of the application if an oral hearing is not required or you may be informed of when you have to attend court on the date of the hearing of the ex parte summons.

If you have filed an inter partes summons, you will be notified via email or SMS on whether the filing for your summons has been accepted. If the filing of your summons has been accepted, you will have to collect the sealed summons at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau and serve a copy of the sealed summons and the supporting affidavit (if applicable) on the other party.

Depending on the nature of your application, you may:

  • Need to attend court in person with the other party on the date of the hearing stated in the summons.
    • It is during the hearing that the court may make the order you applied for.
    • The hearing date and time of your summons will be indicated at the top left hand corner of the sealed summons.
    • The court may issue directions on the timelines for the filing and service of reply affidavits (if applicable) and written submissions on the summons before the hearing. Parties should also seek directions at or before the hearing unless parties have agreed upon such timelines and filed all such documents before the hearing.
  • Not need to physically attend court if the hearing is conducted virtually or asynchronously.
    • Find out more about virtual court sessions.
    • (If your case is heard in the District Court) Refer to the State Courts Registrar Circular No. 11 of 2020 to find out more about asynchronous hearings.

Any party who is not satisfied with the judgment or order given by a registrar on a summons may do the following within 14 days after the judgment or order is given. Refer to the following to find out appeal process:

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:
Refer to:
Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

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