Setting a civil trial date

This factsheet sets out how to get a civil matter in the Supreme and District Courts set down for trial under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (UCPR).

Sending a request for trial date

  • Once all of the interlocutory steps are complete and the matter is ready for trial, either party can send the other a request for trial date (form 48).
  • If you consider the matter is ready for trial, you should complete your details on the request for trial date and then send the request to the other party to complete.
  • The other party must respond to the request within 21 days (rule 469), either by signing the request and sending it back to the other side, or by telling the other side why the matter is not ready for trial.

Bringing an application

If you do not receive any response within 21 days, or if the other party writes back that the matter is not ready for trial, you can apply for an order dispensing with the signature of the other party on the request for trial date under UCPR rule 469.

First, complete a form 9 application in which you seek an order that “Pursuant to rule 469 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 the signature of the [Plaintiff/Defendant] on the request for trial date be dispensed with.”

You should also file a form 46 affidavit, exhibiting the request for trial date, your letter to the other party and their response (if any).

Responding to a request for trial date

If you receive a request for trial date, and you don’t think the matter is ready for trial, you should write to the other party setting out in some detail what additional steps need to be taken, and give a time frame in which you expect that step to be completed.

Bear in mind that the court expects parties to act promptly to resolve their dispute.

Ready for trial

“Ready for trial” is defined in rule 467 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rule 1999. This means that:

  • Disclosure has been complied with;
  • Any orders requiring particulars, or the issuing and giving of interrogatories have been complied with;
  • All necessary steps are complete; and
  • All of the necessary witnesses will be available at trial

When you are completing a request for trial date, you should check the trial availability calendar on the Queensland Court Website

You will have to nominate dates when you are available to attend the trial.

Consequences of filing a request for trial date

Filing a request for trial date has important consequences. It means that the leave of the court is required before either party can take a step in the proceedings, such as bringing an application or amending a document.

Supreme Court procedure

The Supreme Court procedure for setting trial dates in Brisbane is contained in a Practice Direction 9/2010(PDF 45KB)

Trial dates are allocated to cases that:

  1. are on “the trial list” either because the parties have filed a request for trial date; or
  2. a judge has placed on the trial list.

If the matter is placed on the trial list and you have not yet filed a request for trial date, you will have to file a Form 48 listing the dates that you are (and are not) available for trial.

You will be notified by the court when a trial date has been set down.

District Court procedure

In the District Court once both of the parties have signed the request for trial date and the request has been filed in the court registry the matter will be placed on the “callover” list by the court registry staff. The callover list is a list of matters that are waiting to be allocated a trial date.

The court will then set down a date for a callover, that is, a court hearing in which matters are allocated trial dates according to the court’s availability calendar. You will be able to attend the callover in case you need to tell the court about dates you are unavailable.

It is important to remember that a trial date will not be set down as soon as the request for trial date is filed – you need to wait until after the callover has occurred.