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Both parties will receive a notice of hearing which includes the time, date and location of the hearing. Be aware that a number of matters will be set for the same timeslot, and you should make sure you allow enough time to attend the hearing.
The aim of the hearing is to make a final decision about your case.
It is generally in your best interest to come to the hearing if the application has been made against you. If you do not attend the hearing, the tribunal may hear and decide the matter anyway, and an order may be made against you.
At the hearing you will tell the member or adjudicator your story. Although the hearing is informal, you are expected to tell your story clearly, in proper sequence, and with enough detail to explain your case.
You need to give the tribunal all the relevant documents that help support the main points of your case. You need to bring any documents, invoices, receipts, quotations and/or other pieces of evidence you need to prove your case, and give them to the member or adjudicator at the hearing. You should make two copies of any documents you intend to give to the tribunal and have a copy for yourself and one for the other party.
The QCAT member or adjudicator makes a decision by listening to the facts and looking at the evidence. Knowing the difference between facts and evidence will help you present your case clearly.
It may help to take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, write the facts you want to tell the member or adjudicator. On the right side write the evidence you will use to support your facts.
2 February 2016. Respondent called at my home. I agreed to lend her money.
Own sworn evidence.
Bank cover of cheque book showing
notes about repayment.
Own sworn evidence.
Evidence of flatmate Fred Jones who was present.
Copy of cheque butt dated 2 February 2016.
Evidence can be written (in the form of sworn statements called affidavits), or verbal (when you or your witnesses give statements in the witness box).
Your own evidence, in your own words, is always helpful to your case.
You can ask relevant witnesses who can support your case, to attend the hearing. If they are reluctant, you can apply to the tribunal to compel them to attend by serving a QCAT Form 38 - Hearing notices: application for notice requiring witness to attend hearing or produce document/thing at hearing. This is a notice from the tribunal demanding they attend the hearing (see sample documents and forms) or produce documents that could be used as evidence.
If your witness is reluctant, and forced to attend the hearing through the notice to attend, this action may upset them and in turn they may not give helpful evidence. So weigh this up carefully before you initiate a notice.
Only QCAT can order a person to attend a hearing or to produce documents by issuing an attendance notice. QCAT may charge a fee for this service. If a person is willing to attend or produce a document you do not need to apply to QCAT.
The witness does not have to attend unless you give them sufficient money to pay their costs of attending, for example money to cover their reasonable transport costs.
It can help to practice what you want to say in front of family and friends. Have your documents in order so that when you mention one it is ready to show at the right time. If you mention an important fact a witness can support, say you have a witness who can talk about this matter later. Have any evidence or photographs labelled and ready to show at the right time.
Listen to what your friends say. If your story is too long, cut out unnecessary details. If listeners cannot understand a point, put in details to make it clear.
You should make every attempt to attend the hearing date and time scheduled by the tribunal. If circumstances that prevent you from attending the hearing arise before the scheduled hearing date, advise the tribunal by fax or in writing as soon as possible. The respondent can also take this action. If you have a sound reason the tribunal may adjourn the hearing. A sound reason would have to be something like a medical emergency where circumstances were beyond your control.
If the hearing has already taken place, ask the tribunal for a Form 43 - Application for reopening, correction, renewal or amendment.
After hearing everyone's evidence, the adjudicator will make a decision. The member or adjudicator might:
After the member or adjudicator has made a decision, they will make an order you and the respondent must follow.