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call over is a very short court appearance, usually in front of a Registrar, who determines what will happen next in your case. This will usually be the first time that you will have to attend court. The main content of the court appearance is the administrative aspects of the case, including making orders: 

  • as to the preparation and filing of evidence; 
  • for the collection of evidence;
  • for subpoenas and notices to produce; and
  • on how much time to allocate for the full hearing. 

When determining this, the court is acting to facilitate the just, quick and cheap resolution of the proceedings. This means that the court has obligations around what they must consider when making a determination at this stage, including:

  • ensuring that the process for determining the outcome is fair for both parties;
  • that the dispute is finalised as quickly as possible to keep costs low; and
  • that the use of judicial and administrative resources is efficient.

What is a First Call Over? 

The first call over is usually heard by a Registrar. The court will notify your LegalVision team of the date for the court appearances. The date of the first call over is usually within six weeks of when the other party filed theirs. You can expect that the court will mostly be interested in giving directions to assist in the speedy determination of the real issues between the parties. 

For example, this could include:

  • making orders in relation to subpoenas and the filing of evidence;
  • referring the proceedings to mediation or arbitration; or 
  • directing the parties to complete a civil listing advice which must be filed in court on the next listing date.

The court will work towards setting a date for the trial at the first call over. If they are unable to decide on a date, they will list the case for another call over.

What is a Second Call Over?

If the court has determined that a second call over is necessary, they will generally hold this within 28 days of the first call over. During the second call over the court will:

  1. set a date for the trial and a pre-trial review date;
  2. make orders on the preparation and filing of evidence; and
  3. give directions to assist in the speedy determination of the real issues between the parties.

If, at this point, the parties are not ready to take a trial date, you may be required to attend a further directions hearing.

What Will My LegalVision Team Be Doing Before a Call Over?  

Your LegalVision team will be liaising with the solicitor for the other party to determine a court timetable. This is the most efficient way to determine the timetable of the trial. Your LegalVision team will also be gauging the likely length of the hearing and any steps that they will need to complete prior to the hearing.

Your LegalVision team will also attend the court for the call over and report back to you on the outcome and any additional decisions made by the court. 

What Do I Need To Do?

If you are at this stage of the proceedings, there are a few things that your LegalVision team may need you to do. This includes:

  1. updating us – make sure that you discuss any orders or decisions that you would like to ensure are made at the call over;
  2. providing instructions to us – you also need to be ready to provide further instructions to your legal team when required; 
  3. consider attending the call over – you are not required to attend the call over, but you may do so if you wish. This will help you gain an understanding of what your trial may be like, and get a feel for the other party’s legal team.

This article is part of a larger publication on the NSW Local Court Process. To read about the next step in the NSW Local Court process, click here.


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