Small Claims Court Hearing- advice needed in General Legal Issues Posted June 12, 2014 The rules the Judge will have to apply are set out here. Have a read in advance of the hearing. He will need to explain why he didn't file his defence in time. If he delayed making the application it could be tough for him as delay can be difficult to overcome, as set out here. In balance though, if he can show he has a reasonable defence to the claim, the judgment will probably be set aside and the claim will proceed to a trial at a later date.