These tenancy resources and information have been developed by Circle Green Community Legal.

Court Process

  • The minor case jurisdiction in the Magistrates Court is less formal than other courts, but it is still normal to feel nervous about the court process, especially if you have not attended court before.
  • Make sure you arrive on time, or early if possible, and let the court staff know that you are there (either at the reception or with the court orderly).
  • Be prepared to be at court for a while – although you may be listed early in the morning, your matter may not be called until the afternoon. This will depend on the court and the number of matters listed for that day.
  • The hearings are held in private, meaning that it is usually only you, the lessor (or their real estate agent), your representatives (if any, such as a person employed as a tenant advocate), and the court staff present in the room. The hearings are not open to the public.

For more information on the court process and proceedings, please download the documents at the end of this page.

Preparing for Court

It is important for you to be prepared to proceed at your first hearing. To prepare for the hearing, you should:

  • Make a timeline of events that occurred throughout the tenancy.
  • • Prepare a file with all of your relevant documents.
  • Photocopy any letters or documents that you want the court to see. You will need three copies of each document you wish to give as evidence.
  • Put the documents in a chronological order and make them easy for you to access quickly.
  • If you are responding to an application (e.g. lessor is claiming money from the bond that you do not agree with) prepare a statement on each item that is being claimed and include whether or not you agree and provide reasons why. You can also refer to your own documents here.
  • Prepare a short statement on each document or piece of evidence – include why you think this evidence is relevant and what it proves or disproves.
  • If you have witnesses that you intend to call – you can tell them what questions you will be asking at the hearing. Also, you may want to think of any questions that the Magistrate or other party may ask the witness.