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What is a case management conference

Note

This page describes the simplified civil process for cases begun by a Writ of Summons (Writ) and heard in the Magistrate's Court (excluding non-injury motor accident actions and actions for personal injuries) or the District Court where all parties consent to the application of the simplified civil process.

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

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

The case management conference (CMC) is central to the simplified civil process. At the CMC, the court will assist the parties to:

  • Narrow down the issues between them.
  • Deal with any relevant issues which may arise (interlocutory matters).
  • Facilitate an early resolution of the dispute without going to trial.

When you have to attend a CMC

For cases heard in the Magistrate's Court, a CMC is generally convened within 50 days after the defendant files their defence. The court will notify you in a notice to attend a CMC within 8 days of the filing of the defendant's defence.

Tip
You can file a request via eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Bureau to request for an earlier CMC if required.

For cases heard in the District Court and parties have filed their consent for the simplified civil process to apply to their case, both parties will have to file a request via eLitigation to arrange for a CMC.

Attendance is compulsory

Parties must attend every CMC. If one or more of the parties fails to attend the CMC without valid reasons, the court may:

  • Give a judgment or dismiss the case.
  • Make any other order, or give any direction, as the court thinks just and expedient given the circumstances.

You will not be allowed to adjourn any CMC without valid reasons. For example, the consent of both parties to adjourn a CMC is not considered a sufficient reason for an adjournment.

Cases a CMC applies to

A CMC is conducted for all cases which the simplified civil process applies to, except for:

  • Non-injury motor accident (NIMA) claims.
  • Personal injury (PI) claims.
    • This includes any action where the pleadings contain an allegation of a negligent act or omission in the course of medical or dental treatment.

NIMA and PI cases are channelled to the State Courts' Court Dispute Resolution Cluster (CDRC) where experienced judges will assist parties by providing liability indications based on information on the accident given by the parties.

If your claim falls within either of these categories, you may refer to the NIMA pre-action protocol (Appendix C of the State Courts Practice Directions) or the PI pre-action protocol (Appendix E of the State Courts Practice Directions) for more information.

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 Common Civil Justice Processes (PDF, 1476 KB).
Legislation associated with this topic includes Order 108 Rule 3 of the Rules of Court.
Refer to Paragraph 20 of the State Courts Practice Directions for the CMC in the simplified process for civil proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court.

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/10/13

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