How case appraisal works
During the process of case appraisal, a case appraiser:
- meets with both parties to decide how the appraisal will progress
- may ask parties to deliver witness statements and submissions before conducting a hearing
- reads the documents sent by the parties and listens to the case presented by the parties (or their lawyers)
- assesses the merits of each case and makes a decision about the dispute
- puts the decision in writing
- files a certificate with the registrar with a copy of the decision.
Case appraisal versus mediation
Mediators are impartial and help parties come to an agreement themselves.
Case appraisers assess the merits of each party’s case and make a decision about the dispute, which is put in writing. See Form 36 - Case appraiser's certificate (DOC, 29KB).
Disagreeing with the decision
If you’re not happy with the case appraiser’s decision, you 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 generally pay the other party’s costs for both the trial and the case appraisal, unless the court orders otherwise.
To elect to go to trial, file a Form 37 - Notice of election to go to trial or hearing in the ordinary way (DOC, 30KB) with the registrar within 28 days of the case appraiser filing the certificate.
Enforcing the decision
The court can enforce the decision only if you apply to the court for an order giving effect to it.
You can do this once the 28 days allowed for filing the notice of election to go to trial have passed, or earlier if both parties agree.