The Courts have released a new notice to the profession in relation to COVID-19.

The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have released a new update to the profession on family law court operations.

It follows the 31 March 2020 practice direction which dealt with:

  • Filing of documents electronically;
  • Subpoenas and inspection of documents;
  • The filing of Annexures to Affidavits; 
  • Signatures on documents and affidavits; and 
  • Deferral of fee payments

The courts tell us that:-

  • The Courts will also be moving to a Digital Court File (DCF) by 14 April 2020 with the ability to hear cases remotely.
  • The Courts have engaged in a “long term digital transformation” with Microsoft Teams has been rolled out to each Judge, Registrar and Family Consultant. Each Judge and Registrar is now able to conduct hearings electronically from each Registry.
  • The Courts will be attempting to conduct as many hearings as possible in the current circumstances
  • Most interviews conducted by Family Consultants will now take place by telephone or video.
  • All Duty Lists are being conducted by Microsoft Teams or by telephone. 

The courts have asked practitioners and litigants for patience during these changes. They are new for most of us and we can only do the best we can.

Access the court’s publication here for more information or contact your lawyer for assistance.