During the months before the final trial or other hearing (at which the judge will decide who wins a case) there may be one or more short hearings and the court or tribunal may require a hearing bundle to be produced containing the documents which will need to be referred to at the hearing (even though the documents will usually have already been filed at court/tribunal). In an Hearing Bundle every page has a page number and the judge and each party at the hearing have identical copies of the Bundle.
As well as being paginated - having each page numbered consecutively - the Bundle will have an Index at the front. Despite its name, the Index is not like the index of an ordinary book. An ordinary non-fiction book will have a table of contents at the front listing each section or chapter in the order it appears with the page number, and there will also be an index at the back listing alphabetically people, places, topics etc. with the page number where that person, place, or topic is referred to in the book. The Index of a Hearing Bundle is not at all like an alphabetic index that you find at the end of a typical book. It is at the front and is really a table of contents but a bit more detailed than the average table of contents in a book. Why is it called an Index? The word Index is actually an old word for a table of contents, rarely used in this sense now outside the legal context, but this is still its primary meaning when used by lawyers and judges.
Use CaseLines to create the bundle in PDF form.
1. Open and print the bundle PDF file created by Caselines. The bundle must be printed in colour: this is not only because some pages may contain photographs or colour-coded plans but because the page number on every page is in red and red printed in greyscale can be difficult to see.
2. When you have printed out the bundle pages, hole punch them and file them in one or more lever arch file/ring binders, depending on how many pages there are.
3. The very first page of the Index PDF is a title page giving the name and number of the case and the title of the bundle (e.g. Directions Bundle) in tramlines. The first page filed should always be the first page of the Index (i.e. the second page of the PDF if the first page of the PDF is a title page) so that the index can be seen immediately on opening the file without having to turn over a page which merely contains the title of the case. The initial page containing only the title is intended to be stuck on the outside of the front cover of the volume, though you can write your own sticky label to put on the front of the volume, containing the same information, if that is easier, rather than use the title page. As well as sticking the title page to the front (or using a sticky label on the front) you should put a sticky label on the outside spine with the case number and case name in large writing.
4. It will assist the court/tribunal if tabs are inserted in front of each section with the name of the section written on the tab, as illustrated below. Sometimes, at the time a bundle has to be prepared and lodged with the court, documents to be included in it have not been received from the other side. In this case a tab can be added after the last page of the bundle marked e.g. "Respondent documents". A line can then be added to the end of the index saying e.g. "Respondent's documents (to be added)" giving the page number from which the documents, when added, will start.
5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 above to produce several identical copies of the bundle. Unless the rules or specific directions given by the court or tribunal, require more, for a short hearing before a single judge where no witnesses will be giving live evidence, you generally need one copy for the judge and two copies for each party (one for the party themselves and one for the party's barrister).
NOTE: See here if you need assistance - e.g. If your printer is too slow for the volume involved.
When you deliver a copy of the bundle to the court/tribunal office (whether by post or hand delivery) it should be accompanied by a covering letter giving
Different courts and tribunals have different rules and deadlines, which it is important to meet, and a sanction may be imposed if the bundle is delivered late.
That said, if a deadline is missed it does not always mean disaster and if you have missed a deadline there may be things you can do to mitigate. For example:
The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.
There is some variation between the procedural requirements of different tribunals and courts for different types of case. The above explanation of procedural rules relating to bundles is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.
This page was lasted updated in December 2016. Disclaimer