The Following Steps
After you have sent your application and the respondent has replied, the judge assigned to the case will decide how to further proceed with it.
The judge may, for instance, order the parties to meet in order to discuss whether the matter can be mediated or settled, whether a hearing on the merits of the case is necessary, and whether agreement can be reached on certain factual and legal issues that are in contention. The judge may also instruct that further written submissions are necessary. The judge may further decide to hold an oral hearing to give directions to the parties for further preparation or management of the case (a directions hearing). During this phase, the parties will be directed to provide the final list of proposed witnesses and the final list of documents or other evidence they propose to rely on to prove their case.
In cases where the judge decide the matter cannot be dealt with on papers, the judge will hold a hearing on the merits of the case, which means that an oral hearing will be held where the parties are to present the substance of their case and witnesses may also be called. If one of the parties or a witness cannot participate in person, she/he may do so by telephone or video conference.