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If the case is listed for trial, the magistrate or registrar will make programming orders beforehand. Programming orders indicate what you need to do to prepare for trial, such as writing and filing a witness statement. Failure to comply with any programming orders may prevent you from presenting your evidence.
Before trial, the magistrate may try again to settle the matter by reaching an agreement.
You can use this checklist to help prepare yourself for trial:
Orders handed down by the magistrate can include:
There are no appeals against the decision of the magistrate, except on the grounds the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case or natural justice was denied (such as if you can show you weren’t given the opportunity to state your case).
If an order to end a tenancy agreement is granted and you can show that you would suffer hardship if it was to take effect immediately, you can ask the magistrate to suspend the order for up to 30 days.
If a party does not pay an amount ordered by the magistrate, you can take action to enforce the order. See the publication If they don’t pay – What happens if court/tribunal orders are not paid?
The successful party has the right to recoup court fees paid.
Tenants and lessors can seek legal advice through a lawyer.
Tenants can also seek advice from Legal Aid, Circle Green Community Legal (formerly Tenancy WA) or at any other Community Legal Centre, though certain conditions will apply.