According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a status hearing is a meeting between the plaintiff and the defendant and their legal representation, as well as a judge or meditating party. Their goal is to get people to talk before trial to see if the issue can be settled out of court. Status hearings can have different meanings for civil and criminal court proceedings.
Many civil disputes are settled out of court. In some states this is encouraged and all involved parties must provide documentation that they did try to resolve their civil dispute out of court, with a mediator present.
Status hearings are not always used as a means to settle out of court. You could receive a notice because it is necessary to postpone the trial, or just as an expedient way to inform both parties of a new development in your case. Generally, they are used to give the court judge a quick idea of what is going on in the case, and varies court to court and state to state.
What to Do
If you receive a summons, make sure that you do not just ignore it. You have a certain amount of time to respond. In some cases, if you are unable to attend, then you may request a waiver. Contact your legal representation if you have any further issues.