The defendant may bring a separate
action against the plaintiff, suing them
for damage or injury. The two matters
are usually dealt with together.
Statement of claim
Statement of defence
Discovery and interrogatories
Certificate of readiness
Once these procedures have been
completed, the plaintiff will file a
certificate of readiness for trial.
Directions hearings allow the court to be
involved in some of the pre-trial stages leading
up to a case being heard by the court. In a
directions hearing, the court may give the
parties directions about the pre-trial
procedures, such as dates by which certain
documents must be filed. The aim of directions
hearings is to ensure that proceedings are
conducted in an effective and timely manner.
The court may ask the parties to come to an
agreement about certain facts that are clear,
so that court time is not taken up with this
At the end of pleadings either side may require the
production of documents relevant to the case, to assist
in clarifying any of the issues. Either side may produce a
list of all documents they deem relevant to assisting
their case. Any requested documents must be provided
by the other side. This is called the discovery of
documents. Interrogatories is the name given to the
process whereby written questions are served by both
sides and must be answered under oath. The answer to
these questions are admissible as evidence in court,
should the matter proceed to a hearing.
This is the defendant's response to the
allegations made by the plaintiff in the
statement of claim, and is written by the
defendant's collector and sent to the plaintiff.
This provides details of the defendant's
defence, including any allegations admitted or
denied and their version of the facts.
This document is written by the plaintiff's
solicitor and is sent to the defendant . It
explains the specific details of the plaintiff's
claim, such as the facts allegedly by the plaintiff.
This then informs the plaintiff and the remedy
being sought. It is generally attached to the writ.
If the defendant wishes to defend the
case being brought against them, they
must enter two copies of a notice of
appearance, with the court, with the
court forwarding a copy to the plaintiff.
This then informs the plaintiff and the
court that the defendant intends to
defend the claim.
A writ is a standard legal document that is
prepared by the plaintiff's solicitor and lodged
with the Supreme Court. The writ informs the
defendant of the case against them, the remedy
being sought, and compels them to appear in
court on a stated date and time.
It also sets out the time limit within
which the defendant is expected to
reply to the plaintiff.
Outlines the nature of the complaint and the demands of the plaintiff
The purpose of the civil pre-trial procedures is to determine the
relevant facts of the case and to assist the parties to gather
evidence to be used in court. It also assists in ensuring a speedy
resolution of the matter.