Following the completion of Directions questionnaires by you and the other party, you may be given a date for your hearing. However, it is likely you will be asked to exchange evidence first and then be given a date for the final hearing.

You will be expected to file any evidence (this includes documents, photographs and videos or similar media) ahead of time, but you may also want to bring it with you to exhibit before the Judge on the day. You will also need to prepare a witness statement, to which you can affix key pieces of evidence. Doing this means they have the best chance of being read by the Judge. If you submit a lot of evidence it is unlikely the Judge will have time to read it all, so consider which evidence is most important to your case. Be aware of the Civil Procedure Rules, which govern all civil (i.e., non-criminal) cases in England & Wales. These Rules were written to be understood by non-lawyers, i.e., Litigants in Person. If you are going to court without a lawyer, you should read the Civil Procedure Rules, or CPR, to understand the protocols you are expected to follow.

On the day of the hearing, wear smart attire. Be on time and polite. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to put your case to the Judge, so make sure you have given plenty of time beforehand to construct your argument. A well-reasoned, well-researched argument (know your rights — what does the law say about your position?) will mean you can give yourself the best chance of a good outcome.

Small Claims Portal has separate guidance on how to prepare and what to do when you attend court:

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