In both of these courts the procedures that are followed are similar to those in the general division of the Magistrates Court.
The following rules apply to these courts:
In these courts a Notice of Intended Claim is not used.
From 1 October 2012, a plaintiff must send the other party a detailed notice containing an offer to settle the proposed claim with supporting documents at least 21 days before commencing a claim (other than a personal injury claim, for which a plaintiff must send such notice at least 90 days before commencing a claim) in the Supreme Court. This is to allow the other party to consider settling the claim if they wish to do so. If the notice is not given the whole or part of the plaintiff's costs may not be recoverable.
A claim is commenced by a summons and a statement of claim or a supporting affidavit and served on the defendant. The summons has to be served within three months of it being issued but the time can be extended if necessary. Before a defence is filed by the defendant an appearance must also be filed and served by the defendant. This is a very short notice to both the court and the plaintiff to indicate that the matter is disputed. This is followed by the filing of a defence.
The courts hold a status hearing early in the progress of the action . Thereafter a conference can be ordered to try and settle the claim. If the conference is not successful, the courts will not hold any more settlement conferences, but will hold directions hearings and listing conferences to oversee the progress of the matter to trial.
As in the Magistrates Court there are cost penalties associated with the filing of offers which can have major effects on the eventual amount of payments that are received. Provision is also made for mediation of disputes.
In both the District and the Supreme Courts the procedures for enforcing judgments are the same as in the Magistrates Court but the forms used are different.
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