Preparing for hearing

Consumer and Commercial Division 

It is important to be prepared for the hearing.  As soon as you receive the notice of hearing you should start getting ready for the hearing day.  Take the time to carefully consider all of the issues and to find your evidence and other documents in support of your case.


Things to organise before the hearing 

Regardless of whether you are the applicant or the respondent (the 'parties') you need to prepare for the hearing:

Write down your issues 

Think about the dispute and make a list of all the issues that are important to you.  This will help you organise your case and start thinking about the evidence you will need to bring.

Chronology of events

Writing out a chronology that lists all the important facts, dates and events can be helpful for both yourself and NCAT.

Gather your evidence

Collect all the documents and other things that you are going to rely upon during the hearing.  Organise your documents in a folder for easy access.

Practice presenting your case

Practice presenting your case to friends or family and remember to refer to your supporting documents.  This might be particularly useful if you are nervous about the hearing.

Stick to the facts

You will need to leave your emotions and frustrations at home.  Prepare yourself to just stick to the facts when presenting your case during the hearing.

Learn about NCAT 

Read our published decisions, watch our videos, or come along to a hearing to watch how NCAT resolves disputes.


You will need bring evidence to prove your case at the hearing and answer any questions or challenges from the other party.

Make sure all your evidence is ready for the hearing day.  Place your evidence in a folder and label your papers for easy access during the hearing.  Bring copies of your evidence to give to the other party and to NCAT.

Be truthful and accurate as you may be asked to take an oath or affirmation, and you will be asked questions about your evidence.

What evidence will I need?

Your evidence should be relevant to your dispute.  Bring documents and items such as:

  • Residential tenancy agreement and condition report.
  • Written proof of sale or service invoice, original purchase agreement or sales advice.
  • Invoices or demands for payment, receipts, quotes, reports and payments records.
  • Warranties in relation to the goods or service.
  • Correspondence between you and the other party.
  • Photographs showing the condition and state of repair of the goods or the rented premises.

Learn more about using evidence and witnesses.

Expert evidence

Experts can be used by a party when evidence of a technical nature is needed, such as in home building or motor vehicle disputes. Learn more about engaging an expert for detailed information about using an expert to give evidence or provide you with a report for your hearing.


If somebody else was very involved in the events, you may consider having them as a witness to give evidence at your hearing.  If your witness appears in person at the hearing they will need to give their evidence under oath or affirmation.  Alternatively you can ask your witness to give you a written statement in the form of an affidavit or statutory declaration.


If you believe a person or company representative should attend your hearing to provide evidence, or that a person or company has documents that could be used as evidence, you can request NCAT to issue a summons.

A summons directs a person or company that they must appear before NCAT at a specific time and place to give evidence and/or produce document or other things that are required as evidence.

Preparing for hearing checklist 

 Gather together all your evidence such as copies of all letters, invoices, documents, contracts, photographs and records of conversations.
 Label your evidence and put in a folder for easy access during the hearing. 
 Practice presenting your case and sticking to the facts. 
 Bring a pen and paper to take notes during the hearing.