There are numerous reasons why you may be asked to attend a court hearing- it could be an assessment of a benefit claim, an appeal for compensation through the small claims court or even to challenge an eviction. Whatever the reason it helps to know what to expect and how to appear.

Most important – Attend!

This may sound obvious but you would be surprised how many people do not turn up on the day they are expected to attend a court hearing. If someone does not attend then it is much more likely that the court will reach a verdict that is not in your favour.

Conversely if you do you will be able to state your case and you have a better chance of a favourable result.

Comply with instructions

Another important element of the process is looking at the instructions the court gives you- make sure you have all the relevant documents and that you understand what the hearing is about. Again you may think this is obvious but if you don’t follow their instructions it can harm your case.

Equally if a witness or expert is due to give evidence on your behalf they need to know where and when this is so make sure they have the relevant instructions, documentation and so forth.

Also be aware that depending on the case you may or not be able to refer to notes so you should check this before the hearing. If you are in any doubt check the opening hours and ask to speak to a member of staff before the hearing (you should also do this if you have any special requirements such as disabled access etc).

The process

If both the claimant and the defendant are present then the Judge will usually ask the claimant to state their case first and then for the defendant to respond to it. After this both parties’ legal representatives can cross examine the evidence given.

After this the Judge then gives their decision. It may be possible to appeal that decision although it is best to seek legal advice before submitting an appeal.

Typically a hearing may not be very long although it depends on the court and the nature of the case. The most important thing is to attend and be prepared to give evidence.

Talk to us

If you are concerned about going to court it may help to talk to a legal representative first. In some cases it may be possible to arrange a settlement or discuss the matter outside the court. This is often the favourable option for both parties as it can help to avoid expensive legal costs.

If you are due to attend a court hearing and want to know more about what to expect from the hearing please contact us We can provide an initial consultation and can give you an idea of what you need to know and whether or not additional representation is appropriate in your particular case.