The court date on the Summons for Small Claims Court will be for a First Appearance if the judge thinks it would be beneficial for any of the parties. At a First Appearance the parties have a short meeting with a judge so the judge can determine if the case will go forward.
Any party who does not attend will have their case dismissed or, if they are the defendant, judgment entered against them. Judgment can also be entered against a defendant if they have not filed a Reply and paid the filing fee. For judgment to be entered against a defendant the party who made the Claim must prove service of the Claim.
If all the parties are present the judge will try to determine whether the dispute can be resolved. If the dispute cannot be resolved the judge can set a date for a Case Management Conference. Parties can also ask the judge about the Small Claims process.