Setting Civil Trial Date

The date for the trial is not set until many other steps are done. I am assuming this is in the very early stages. Plaintiff has served Defendant with the complaint and Def. has ‘answered’. The next step is Discovery, where plaintiff asks for info. Then the def can ask Plaintiff for Discovery (their ‘proof’). THEN depositions can be taken for either side. THEN mediation is set up. If that doesn’t resolve anything, then I assume it would go to court. Both lawyers meet at a calendar call and ask for a setting of a trial date.

Keep in mind that lawyers for both sides will want to resolve this before having to go to court.


Of everyone here, I was hoping you would respond because of your experience. I’ve been reading the NC Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically Chapter 1A, Article 5 on Depositions and Discovery… but haven’t been able to find an answer to my question. Your personal experience is worth a whole lot more than all this legal mumbo jumbo!

After you submitted a response in your case, how was discovery initiated? Did the other party file a motion for discovery, or did the clerk of court schedule some kind of hearing with the judge to discuss the guidelines for discovery?

I have served my complaint against the defendant. The defendant’s attorney requested an additional month to prepare an answer - which I anticipate receiving in the next few weeks. After I receive this answer, I’m wondering who initiates the next step.

After I answered the complaint, then the Plaintiff sent a Request for Interogatory and Discover (not the exact wording) That was a set of questions I was to answer as well as a list of items I was to provide (financial data, cell phone records…). I had 30 days to do that of which we continued for an additional 30 days because of the amount of stuff I had to gather. I did my part.

Then we (defendant) had an opportunity to as for similar Discovery. This was mainly asking for evidence that was found, and questions pertaining the the status of the marriage and so forth. Also some financial data as well. That info never got to me. After 4 continuances on her part (for various reasons), she dropped the suit. This whole ordeal lasted over a year.

Do you have a lawyer? Usually these matters are initiated by the lawyers. I wouldn’t know how to do it by myself and would never attempt it.

So to answer your question, you and your lawyer initiate the next phase. The defendant will answer your complaint (either denying, admitting or being inconclusive–legal wording can be confusing). Then you’ll ask for Discovery, a settlement pay-off, or drop the suit.

In a civil trial for alienation of affection, after the plaintiff’s complaint has been served to the defendant and the defendant has filed a response, how does the date for the trial get set? I assume that there is a hearing with the judge for the parties to set the trial date, but who is responsible for setting the hearing date? Must it be requested by the plaintiff or does the clerk of court set the date and notify the parties?