File documents for use in a simplified civil trial
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
File the bundle of documents
File a subpoena
File an affidavit or an affidavit of evidence-in-chief
$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit