How does case appraisal work?
Case appraisal involves the following steps:
- A case appraiser listens to the cases of both parties, as presented by themselves or their lawyers.
- The case appraiser assesses the merits of each case and comes to a decision about the dispute.
- The decision is then put in writing and a copy is given to each party.
- The case appraiser files a certificate with the registrar, together with a copy of the decision.
What happens at case appraisal?
The case appraiser will meet with you and the other party to decide how the appraisal will progress. The appraiser may ask you to deliver witness statements and submissions before conducting a hearing.
The appraiser reads the documents sent by the parties and listens to the case presented by the parties (or their lawyers).
After assessing the merits of each case the appraiser will come to a decision about the dispute and put that decision in writing.
If a party is not happy with the case appraiser’s decision, they can elect to go to trial in the usual way.
If you elect to go to trial and the judge’s decision is more favourable to the other party, you must pay the other party’s costs for both the trial and the case appraisal, unless the court orders otherwise.
How do I elect to go to trial?
You or your lawyer must file a Form 37 - Notice of election to go to trial (UCPR) with the registrar no more than 28 days after the case appraiser’s certificate is filed.
Can the decision of a case appraiser be enforced by the court?
The court can enforce the decision only if you apply to the court for an order giving effect to it.
This can be done when the 28 days allowed for filing a Form 37 - Notice of election to go to trial (UCPR) have passed, or earlier if both parties agree.