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File documents for use in a simplified civil trial

Note

This page describes the simplified trial process for cases begun by a Writ of Summons (Writ) 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 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.

Prepare for a simplified civil trial

A simplified civil trial will be arranged for most cases which are not resolved at the case management conference (CMC).

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 no less than 5 working days before the trial.

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 contain 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.

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's opening statement should be prepared according to Form 4A of the State Courts Practice Directions as far as possible.

If your case is a non-injury motor accident (NIMA) or personal injury (PI) case, your opening statement should be prepared according to Form 4B of the State Courts Practice Directions as far as possible.

When to file

If you are the party who filed the claim (the plaintiff), you must file and serve your opening statement on the other party (the defendant) no less than 3 working days before the trial.

If you are the defendant, you must file and serve your opening statement on the plaintiff no less than 2 working days before the trial.

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 at least 3 working days before the trial, or by any other 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 and the State Courts Practice Directions 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 called a subpoena via eLitigation requiring them 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.

An expert witness (expert) is a person with scientific, medical, technical or other specialised knowledge based on training, study or experience. Some examples of expert witnesses include doctors and engineers.

Their role is to provide independent and unbiased opinions about the case based on their specialised knowledge. If you call an expert witness, you will need to ask questions regarding their qualifications and experience as an expert in the field.

Estimated fees

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

Item or service

Fees

File the bundle of documents

$10

File a subpoena

$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

$4 per document 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

File the bundle of pleadings

$10

File a subpoena

$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

$4 per document 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 the Guide to Common Civil Justice Processes (PDF, 1476 KB).
Refer to:

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/10/13

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