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File documents for use in a civil trial

Note

This page describes the trial process 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 or the General Division of the High Court.

Refer to Going to court (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.

File documents for use in a civil trial

Parties should file the following documents before the civil trial:

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

A bundle of AEIC 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 no less than 5 working days before the trial, or any other timelines directed by the court.

How to file

Refer to the following to find out how to file your bundle of AEIC.

If your case is heard in...

You should do all of the following...

The Magistrate’s Court or District Court

The General Division of the High Court

You must follow the Rules of Court and the State Courts Practice Directions or the Supreme Court Practice Directions to prepare your documents.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing the bundle of AEIC. 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 an affidavit or an affidavit of evidence-in-chief

  • (For District Court cases) $1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit
  • (For General Division of the High Court cases) $2 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $50 per affidavit

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 to the AEICs of all witnesses.

If you are the party who filed the claim (the plaintiff), you must file the bundle of documents no less than 5 working days before the trial, or any other 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.

How to file

Refer to the following to find out how to file your bundle of documents.

If your case is heard in...

You should do all of the following...

The Magistrate’s Court or District Court

The General Division of the High Court

You must follow the Rules of Court and the State Courts Practice Directions or the Supreme Court Practice Directions to prepare your documents.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing the bundle of documents. 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 the bundle of documents

  • (For District Court cases) $10
  • (For General Division of the High Court cases for claims up to $1 million) $20
  • (For General Division of the High Court cases for claims more than $1 million) $50

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.

Refer to the following to find out how to prepare an opening statement.

If your case is heard in...

You should...

The Magistrate’s Court or District Court

The General Division of the High Court

Ensure that your opening statement includes the following:

  • The nature of the case and the background facts relevant to the case.
    • You will have to indicate which facts are agreed upon with the other party, if applicable.
  • The precise legal and factual issues involved with cross-references as appropriate to the pleadings.
    • These issues should be numbered and listed.
    • Each point should not be more than one or two sentences. This is to identify the issues in dispute and state each party’s position clearly, not to argue or elaborate on them.
    • You should identify the key documents and witnesses supporting each factual proposition.
    • You should include the principal authorities in support of each legal proposition.
  • (If the reliefs claimed are unusual or complicated) An explanation of the reliefs claimed.
  • (If there is a counterclaim or third party action) The issues raised in the counterclaim or third party action.

You must follow the Rules of Court and the State Courts Practice Directions or the Supreme Court Practice Directions to prepare your documents.

How to file

Refer to the following to find out when you should file and serve your opening statement.

If your case is heard in...

You should...

The Magistrate’s Court or District Court

The General Division of the High Court

File your opening statement no less than 5 working days before the trial, or any other timelines directed by the court.

Opening statements must be filed via eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

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 by the following time periods, or any other timelines directed by the court:

  • (For District Court cases) No less than 3 working days before the trial.
  • (For General Division of the High Court cases) No less than 5 working days before the trial.

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

How to file

Refer to the following to find out how to file your bundle of authorities.

If your case is heard in...

You should do all of the following...

The Magistrate’s Court or District Court

File the bundle of authorities via eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

The General Division of the High Court

You must follow the Rules of Court and the State Courts Practice Directions or the Supreme Court Practice Directions to prepare your documents.

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing the bundle of authorities. 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 the bundle of authorities

$4 per document plus $0.60 per page

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 called a subpoena via eLitigation requiring the witness to attend court on the specified date and time.

There are 3 types of subpoenas 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.

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

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Legislation associated with this topic include:
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Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

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