8. At the first directions hearing

    ​Venue, date and time

    The first directions hearing will be held on the return date stated in the application. This will usually be held about five weeks after the date on which the application was filed. It will be conducted by a registrar in a court in the Court's building at 225 Macquarie Street, Sydney. The location of the courtroom and the precise time of the day when the directions hearing will occur will be shown on the Court Lists posted on a notice board in the foyer of the building and on the Court's website under Court Lists in the afternoon of the day before the directions hearing. 

    For proceedings concerning land outside the Sydney metropolitan area, the first directions hearing may be held by means of a telephone conference. A party who seeks for the first directions hearing to be held by means of a telephone conference may apply to the Court, by letter or through online court, at least 7 days before the date of the first directions hearing, for this to occur.


    Subpoenas

    Any party who wishes to issue a subpoena or notice to produce should advise the Court at the first directions hearing. A party who is not represented by a solicitor needs to obtain the leave of the Court to issue a subpoena (see r 7.3(1) of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005). Any application for leave to issue a subpoena will be dealt with at the first directions hearing or otherwise the Court will fix a date for hearing the application. See the guide to issuing subpoenas.


    Completed minute of proposed directions

    At the first directions hearing the Court will usually make directions in accordance with the usual directions for the applicable type of Strata Scheme Development proceedings in Schedule A attached to the Practice Note.

    At the first directions hearing the parties are to hand to the Court agreed or competing short minutes of the directions they propose the Court should make.


    s66 and s85 appeals

    The parties are to inform the Court whether there is any reason for the proceedings not to be fixed for a conciliation conference under s 34 of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979. If the Court arranges a conciliation conference, the usual directions may need to be adjusted.


    s86, s92 and s179 proceedings

    The parties are to inform the Court whether it is appropriate to refer the proceedings for mediation under s 26 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005. If proceedings are referred for mediation the usual directions may need to be adjusted.

    If there is no respondent to s86, s92 or s179 proceedings, the matter will proceed straight to hearing.


    Arranging a conciliation

    If it is appropriate to arrange a conciliation conference or refer proceedings for mediation, the proceedings will usually be fixed for the conciliation conference or mediation:

    (a) for short matters, before the Duty Commissioner on the next available Friday, or
    (b) for other matters, within 14 days,

    subject to the availability of the Court.


    Disputed proposed directions

    If the parties are in dispute as to any proposed directions, they are to briefly inform the Court of the nature of the dispute and their estimate of how long a hearing of the dispute will take. If practicable, the Court will determine the dispute at that directions hearing, otherwise it will fix a date for the hearing of the dispute.


    Extension of time and joinder

    Any application for an extension of time to initiate a s 66 or s 85 appeal will, if practicable, be dealt with by the Court at the first directions hearing or otherwise the Court will fix a date for hearing.

    Any application for joinder of a person as a party to s 179 proceedings will, if practicable, be dealt with by the Court at the first directions hearing or otherwise the Court will fix a date for the hearing.

     

    Leave to give expert evidence

    A party cannot rely on expert evidence at the hearing of a Strata Scheme Development proceeding unless the Court has given leave to adduce expert evidence and has made directions for the filing of expert evidence, and those directions have been complied with.

    A party intending to adduce expert evidence at the hearing must make an application for directions from the Court under Pt 31 r 31.19 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 to permit them to adduce expert evidence.

    The application is to be made by notice of motion and is to specify the expert evidence sought to be adduced and the directions sought, including any directions under r 31.20 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005. The notice of motion is to be accompanied by an affidavit explaining the expert evidence sought to be adduced and why the use of that expert evidence should be permitted, including why that expert evidence relates to a real issue in the proceedings and is reasonably required to resolve that issue.

    The notice of motion should be filed 4 business days prior to the first directions hearing so that the application can be determined at the first directions hearing.