Major Steps in a Fast Track Action
Most but not necessarily all of these steps will apply in a Fast Track Action
File Notice: Any party can file a notice of fast track action in Form 61
Case Planning Conference: Any party (or the Court) can schedule a case planning conference
Trial Management Conference: A trial management conference is held at least 28 days before the scheduled trial date
Applications: Parties can bring applications, if necessary, but only after a case planning conference has been held
Discovery: Parties are subject to examinations for discovery for a total of 2 hours
Apply for Trial Date: Any party can apply for a trial date, which will be set for a date no later than 4 months after the application is made
Trial: Trial is held without a jury
Costs are awarded according to the length of the trial and offers to settle may be considered by the Court. For more information see Costs.
The Notice of Fast Track Litigation
If one of the conditions set out in Rule 15-1 applies (notably that the total claimed is less than $100,000 or the trial can be completed in 3 days), the fast track rules are mandatory. However, parties to litigation do not always agree that these conditions are satisfied.
Any party can express their view that the fast track litigation rule applies by issuing a notice of fast track action in Form 61. A copy of this must be served on all parties.
The words “subject to Rule 15-1” must be added to the style of proceeding immediately below the listed parties for all documents filed after the fast track has been chosen, as in the following example:
Case Planning Conference
Case planning conferences are described in Case Planning Conferences. In brief, a case planning conference is a meeting with a judge or master to deal with issues and timelines in your case such as, discovery of documents or people, dispute resolution procedures, or other pre-trial matters.
A party to a fast track action must not serve on another party a notice of application or an affidavit in support of an application unless a case planning conference or a trial management conference has been conducted (Rule 15-1(7)).
Trial management conferences are described in Trial Management Conferences. They are governed by Rule 12-2 and are generally scheduled to ensure that all matters concerning conduct of the trial have been considered.
The requirement for a case planning conference to be held before any applications are filed does not apply to an application to have the action removed from the fast track litigation process, nor does it apply to applications to strike pleadings, an application for summary judgment, an application for a summary trial, or urgent applications.
Applying for a Trial Date
If either party applies for a trial date within four months of choosing to use the fast track procedure, the registrar must give you a trial date that starts within four months after the date you apply for it (Rule 15-1(13)).
For more information on how to apply for a trial date, see Scheduling a Trial.