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What should you do the day of the hearing?

Arrive early and bring all court papers with you. If you are the party suing and arrive late, or do not appear at all, your case may be DISMISSED. If you are the party being sued and arrive late, or do not appear at all, a judgment could be entered against you. In other words, YOU MAY LOSE WITHOUT A HEARING. If you are suing and the other party is not there, you must still show proof of your claim before you can get a judgment in your favor. If you are being sued and the other party is not there, you may ask that the case against you be dismissed (so you will win the case).

The plaintiff will present his/her case first, and may be allowed to present evidence in an effort to disprove the defendant's case. There will be no jury. The Judge will hear and decide the entire case. It is his duty to sufficiently develop the facts to render a fair judgment. He can summon witnesses, raise defenses, take testimony, ask questions and generally take whatever action is appropriate to ascertain the true facts of the case.

Lawyers may or may not be present. The Judge will set the rules and insure that the rights and interests of both parties are preserved.

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