Litigation without a hearing

Litigation can be a lengthy process which takes up time for all parties involved. The traditionally method is for the claim to be heard at a hearing by the Judge. Both parties therefore have the opportunity to speak and state their case. In a Small Claims matter, the hearing will generally be lead by the Judge, asking questions to each party and then each party will be able to finish with a closing statement.

However, during the process of litigation, upon the case being allocated to a Court or a “track” (Small Claims, Fast Track and Multi Track) a Judge may suggest to the parties that the case be dealt with without a hearing. Both parties must agree to this for it to happen, if one party declines then it will be deemed by the Court, that the party declining is willing to travel to a court convenient to the other party!

We’ve recently dealt with a case which was decided by the Judge on paperwork only and the hearing disposed of. The Claimants case against our client (Defendant) was dismissed.  

The above can work very well if all documentation is done properly and sufficient evidence can be produced in support of the Claim/Defence. It also saves the extra expense and hassle of travelling to a Court.

The disadvantages, if a party particularly wishes to state their “piece” they wont be given this opportunity to be heard in front of a Judge, it certainly can be included within the Witness Statement but the party may not deem this to be the same.


Authors: Roxanne Bradley

Published: 20 Dec 2017


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