Continuing the Preparation and Preparatory Hearing
After the defendant has responded to the summons and the response has been served to the plaintiff, the court will invite the parties to a preparatory hearing. The preparatory hearing is usually arranged within 2-4 months, sometimes after an additional written statement.
The purpose of the preparatory hearing is to determine the issues that are in dispute between the parties and the evidence that is going to be presented. This prevents the parties from surprising the adversary in the main hearing (as commonly seen in TV-series) by introducing new evidence; the parties have to be aware of all evidence that is going to be presented in the case.
If the goals of the preparation have already been met in the written phase of the preparation, there is no need for a preparatory hearing. In this case, the court may transfer the case directly to the main hearing.