ORDER 25

SUMMONS FOR DIRECTIONS

Summons for directions (O. 25, r. 1)
1. —(1) With a view to providing, in every action to which this Rule applies, an occasion for the consideration by the Court of the preparations for the trial of the action, so that —

(a) all matters which must or can be dealt with on interlocutory applications and have not already been dealt with may so far as possible be dealt with; and

(b) such directions may be given as to the future course of the action as appear best adapted to secure the just, expeditious and economical disposal thereof,

the plaintiff must, within one month after the pleadings in the action are deemed to be closed, take out a summons in Form 44 (referred to in these Rules as a summons for directions) returnable in not less than 14 days.

(2) This Rule applies to all actions begun by writ except —

(a) actions in which the plaintiff or defendant has applied for judgment under Order 14;

(b) actions in which the plaintiff or defendant has applied under Order 18, Rule 22 for trial without pleadings or further pleadings and directions have been given under that Rule;

(c) actions in which an order has been made under Order 24, Rule 2 for the trial of the issue or question before discovery;

(d) actions in which directions have been given under Order 29, Rule 7;

(e) actions in which an order for the taking of an account has been made under Order 43, Rule 1;

(f) actions which have been referred to the Registrar for trial;

(g) actions for which automatic directions are provided by Rule 8; and

(h) non-injury motor accident actions as defined in Order 59, Appendix 2 Part V, filed in the Subordinate Courts.

(3) [Deleted by S 551/99]

(4) If the plaintiff does not take out a summons for directions in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2), the defendant or any defendant may do so or apply for an order to dismiss the action.

(5) On an application by a defendant to dismiss the action under paragraph (4), the Court may either dismiss the action on such terms as may be just or deal with the application as if it were a summons for directions.

(6) In the case of an action which is proceeding only as respects a counterclaim, references in this Rule to the plaintiff and defendant shall be construed respectively as references to the party making the counterclaim and the defendant to the counterclaim.

Non-injury motor accident actions (O. 25, r. 1A)
1A. —(1) For non-injury motor accident actions as defined in Order 59, Appendix 2 Part V, filed in the Subordinate Courts, where parties have agreed on the issue of liability before action and the plaintiff causes a writ of summons to be issued to have damages assessed, within 14 days after the memorandum of appearance is served on the plaintiff, the plaintiff must take out a summons in Form 45, for interlocutory judgment to be entered and for directions for the assessment of damages.

(2) If the plaintiff does not take out a summons in accordance with this Rule, paragraphs (4) and (5) of Rule 1 shall apply in relation to this Rule as they apply in relation to a summons for directions.

Duty to consider all matters (O. 25, r. 2)
2. —(1) When the summons for directions first comes to be heard, the Court shall consider whether —

(a) it is possible to deal then with all the matters which, by Rules 3 to 7, are required to be considered on the hearing of the summons for directions; or

(b) it is expedient to adjourn the consideration of all or any of those matters until a later stage.

(2) If when the summons for directions first comes to be heard, the Court considers that it is possible to deal then with all the said matters, it shall deal with them forthwith and shall endeavour to secure that all other matters which must or can be dealt with on interlocutory applications and have not already been dealt with are also then dealt with.

(3) If, when the summons for directions first comes to be heard, the Court considers that it is expedient to adjourn the consideration of all or any of the matters which, by Rules 3 to 7, are required to be considered on the hearing of the summons, the Court shall deal forthwith with such of those matters as it considers can conveniently be dealt with forthwith and adjourn the consideration of the remaining matters and shall endeavour to secure that all other matters which must or can be dealt with on interlocutory applications and have not already been dealt with are dealt with either then or at a resumed hearing of the summons for directions.

(4) If, on the summons for directions, an action is ordered to be transferred to the Subordinate Courts, nothing in this Order shall be construed as requiring the Court to make any further order on the summons.

(5) If, on the summons for directions, the action or any question or issue therein is ordered to be tried before the Registrar, the Court may, without giving any further directions, adjourn the summons so that it can be heard by the Registrar, and the party required to apply to the Registrar for directions may do so by notice without taking out a fresh summons.

(6) If the hearing of the summons for directions is adjourned without a day being fixed for the resumed hearing thereof, any party may restore it to the list on 2 days notice to the other parties.

Particular matters for consideration (O. 25, r. 3)
3. —(1) On the hearing of the summons for directions, the Court shall consider the appropriate orders or directions that should be made to simplify and to expedite the proceedings and particularly —
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(a) the period within which the parties have to exchange affidavits of the evidence-in-chief of all witnesses named in the summons for directions who may give evidence at the trial;
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(b) whether the number of witnesses shall be limited to those specified in the order and whether the evidence-in-chief of the witnesses specified be each limited to a single affidavit;
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(c) the mode in which the evidence-in-chief shall be given by any witness from whom a party is unable on sufficient cause being shown to obtain an affidavit of that witness’s evidence-in-chief and the manner in which the said evidence shall be disclosed to the other parties prior to the trial;
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(d) whether an order should be made limiting the number of expert witnesses;

(e) whether the evidence-in-chief of each expert witness should be set out in a single affidavit;
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(f) whether any direction should be made for a discussion between the experts prior to the exchange of their affidavits exhibiting their reports for the purpose of requiring them to identify the issues in the proceedings and where possible, reach agreement on an issue, and if such a direction should be made, whether —

(i) to specify the issues which the experts are to discuss; and

(ii) to direct the experts to prepare a joint statement indicating the agreed issues, the issues not agreed and a summary of the reasons for any non-agreement;

(g) the period within which objections to the contents of the affidavit or other evidence of a witness must be taken; and

(h) whether any orders should be made pursuant to Order 20, Rule 5, Order 38, Rules 2 to 7, Order 40A, Rules 1 to 4 and Order 70, Rule 25 (3).

(2) Where any party fails to comply with the Court’s directions for the filing and exchange of affidavits, an application may be made by summons at any time after the default for an order to enter judgment or to dismiss the action, as the case may be, or for such other order as to costs or otherwise that the Court thinks just in the circumstances.

(3)   Within 7 days after the parties have exchanged affidavits of the evidence-in-chief of all witnesses named in the summons for directions who may give evidence at the trial, the plaintiff shall file a certificate in Form 45A, signed by all parties to the action or their solicitors, to the effect that all affidavits of the evidence-in-chief of witnesses ordered or required to be exchanged pursuant to this Order have been so exchanged.
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

Admissions and agreements to be made (O. 25, r. 4)
4. At the hearing of the summons for directions, the Court shall endeavour to secure that the parties make all admissions and all agreements as to the conduct of the proceedings which ought reasonably to be made by them and may cause the order on the summons to record any admissions or agreements so made, and (with a view to such special order, if any, as to costs as may be just being made at the trial) any refusal to make any admission or agreement.

Limitation of right of appeal (O. 25, r. 5)
5. Nothing in Rule 4 shall be construed as requiring the Court to endeavour to secure that the parties shall agree to exclude or limit any right of appeal, but the order made on the summons for directions may record any such agreement.

Duty to give all information at hearing (O. 25, r. 6)
6. —(1) Subject to paragraph (2), no affidavit shall be used on the hearing of the summons for directions except by the leave or direction of the Court, but, subject to paragraph (4), it shall be the duty of the parties to the action and their solicitors to give all such information and produce all such documents on any hearing of the summons as the Court may reasonably require for the purposes of enabling it properly to deal with the summons. The Court may, if it appears proper to do so in the circumstances, authorise any such information or documents to be given or produced to the Court without being disclosed to the other parties but, in the absence of such authority, any information or document given or produced under this paragraph shall be given or produced to all the parties present or represented on the hearing of the summons as well as to the Court.

(2) No leave shall be required by virtue of paragraph (1) for the use of an affidavit by any party on the hearing of the summons for directions in connection with any application thereat for any order if, under any of these Rules, an application for such an order is required to be supported by an affidavit.

(3) If the Court on any hearing of the summons for directions requires a party to the action or his solicitor or counsel to give any information or produce any document and that information or document is not given or produced, then, subject to paragraph (4), the Court may —

(a) cause the facts to be recorded in the order with a view to such special order, if any, as to costs as may be just being made at the trial; or

(b) if it appears to the Court to be just to do so, order the whole or any part of the pleadings of the party concerned to be struck out, or, if the party is plaintiff or the claimant under a counterclaim, order the action or counterclaim to be dismissed on such terms as may be just.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in paragraphs (1) to (3), no information or documents which are privileged from disclosure shall be required to be given or produced under this Rule by or by the solicitors of any party otherwise than with the consent of that party.

Duty to make all interlocutory applications on summons for directions (O. 25, r. 7)
7. —(1) Any party to whom the summons for directions is addressed must so far as practicable apply at the hearing of the summons for any order or directions which he may desire as to any matter capable of being dealt with on an interlocutory application in the action and must, not less than 7 days before the hearing of the summons, serve on the other parties a notice in Form 46 specifying those orders and directions in so far as they differ from the orders and directions asked for by the summons.

(2) If the hearing of the summons for directions is adjourned and any party to the proceedings desires to apply at the resumed hearing for any order or directions not asked for by the summons or in any notice given under paragraph (1), he must, not less than 7 days before the resumed hearing of the summons, serve on the other parties a notice specifying those orders and directions in so far as they differ from the orders and directions asked for by the summons or in any such notice.

(3) Any application subsequent to the summons for directions and before judgment as to any matter capable of being dealt with on an interlocutory application in the action must be made under the summons by 2 clear days notice to the other party stating the grounds of the application.

Automatic directions (O. 25, r. 8)
8. —(1) When the pleadings in any action to which this Rule applies are deemed to be closed, the following directions shall take effect automatically:

(a) there shall be discovery of documents within 14 days in accordance with Order 24 and inspection within 7 days thereafter, except that where liability is admitted, discovery shall be limited to discovery by the plaintiff of any document relating to damages;

(b) subject to paragraph (3) where any party intends to place reliance at the trial on expert evidence, he shall, within 4 months, disclose the substance of that evidence to the other parties in the form of a written report, which shall be agreed if possible;

(c) where any party intends to call any witness at the trial for the purpose of proving any photograph, sketch plan, or model or the condition of a vehicle or the maintenance or operation of traffic lights or any other evidence of a formal nature, he shall, within 4 months, disclose the evidence thereof to the other parties;

(d) photographs, sketch plans, models and the contents of any police accident report shall be agreed if possible;

(e) subject to sub-paragraphs (b) and (c), the parties shall, within 4 months, exchange, without filing, affidavits of the evidence-in-chief of all witnesses except any witness referred to in sub-paragraphs (b) and (c), and the plaintiff shall, within 7 days after the exchange of affidavits of evidence-in-chief, file a certificate in Form 45A, signed by all parties to the action or their solicitors, to the effect that all affidavits of evidence-in-chief of witnesses required to be exchanged pursuant to this Order have been so exchanged;
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(f) the evidence-in-chief of all witnesses shall be limited to one affidavit for each witness;
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(g) the number of witnesses shall be limited in any case to those who have deposed their evidence-in-chief by way of affidavit;
S 637/2006, wef 01/01/2007

(h) the action shall be set down within 6 months;

(i) the Court shall be notified, on setting down, of the estimated length of trial; and

(j) the party setting down the action shall certify that the provisions of this Rule have been complied with.

(2) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall require a party to produce a further medical report if he proposes to rely at the trial only on the report provided pursuant to Order 18, Rule 12 (1A) or (1B) but, where a party claiming damages for personal injuries discloses a further report, that report shall be accompanied by a statement of the special damages claimed and, in this paragraph, “a statement of the special damages claimed” has the same meaning as in Order 18, Rule 12 (1C).

(3) Where paragraph (1) (b) applies to more than one party, the reports shall be disclosed by mutual exchange, medical for medical and non-medical for non-medical, within the time provided or as soon thereafter as the reports on each side are available.

(4) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall prevent any party to an action to which this Rule applies from applying to the Court for such further or different directions or orders as may, in the circumstances, be appropriate.

(5) For the purpose of this Rule documents relating to special damages include documents relating to any industrial disablement or sickness benefit rights, and where the claim is made under section 20 of the Civil Law Act (Chapter 43), include documents relating to any claim for dependency on the deceased.

(6) This Rule shall apply to —

(a) any action for personal injuries except —

(i) any admiralty action; and

(ii) any action where the pleadings contain an allegation of a negligent act or omission in the course of medical or dental treatment; and

(b) any action arising out of an accident on land due to a collision or an apprehended collision, except non-injury motor accident actions as defined in Order 59, Appendix 2 Part V, filed in the Subordinate Courts.

(7) This Rule shall not apply to actions in which any party has applied for judgment under Order 14.

Affidavits of evidence-in-chief and exhibits
9. [ Deleted by S 283/97]