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How do I prepare for the hearing?

Prepare facts and evidence

The magistrate will want to hear the facts about what happened in the accident. It will help your case if you are organised and present the facts and evidence clearly.

To prepare your evidence, it may help to draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. On the left side, write the facts, and on the right side, write the evidence that supports the facts.

Sample facts and evidence

Below are some sample facts to tell magistrate and the evidence requried to support those facts:

  1. Ford collided with my Mitsubishi. Ford sped up and ran a red light on Black St, Redwood.
    1. own sworn evidence
    2. evidence of any witnesses
    3. map of accident scene
  2. Mitsubishi had damage to the front bumper and lights.
    1. photograph of damage to car
  3. Had Mitsubishi towed ($200) and received quote to repair car ($2500).
    1. own sworn evidence
    2. written quote
    3. affidavit of repairer
    4. receipts for towing
  4. Sent letter of demand on 21 October 2013.
    1. copy of letter of demand

Evidence allowed in court can include:

  • verbal evidence (statements in the witness box) from you or your witnesses (the court prefers this form of evidence)
  • documents like repair bills, receipts and quotes
  • photographs (for example, of your car after the accident).

Organise your witnesses

Make sure your witnesses are available for court and have them meet you at least 15 minutes before court time. Ask them to read their statements the day before, so the evidence they may give is fresh in their minds. If they have never been to court before, let them know you and the other person will ask them questions.

Your witnesses could include:

  • anyone who saw the accident
  • the mechanic who gave you the quote to repair your car or who did the work repairing the vehicle
  • the loss assessor who gave the valuation.

If a witness cannot come to the hearing but is willing to give evidence, you should get legal advice. Usually, all witnesses are required by the court to attend personally.

If any of your witnesses do not want to provide evidence, you can force them to do so by requesting a subpoena. A subpoena is a court order that requires a person to appear in court to give evidence or produce documents.

To organise a subpoena, lodge these forms with the court:

  1. Request for subpoena (see sample in Sample documents and forms)
  2. Subpoena to give evidence or
  3. Subpoena for production (see sample in Sample documents and forms).

You would only use a Subpoena for production if you wanted your witness to bring documents to support your case, like a quotation for repairs, photographs of the accident scene or damage done to your car.

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