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Cite as: July 2012 86 (07) LIJ, p.65

FAMILY LAW COURTS

Notice - Family Law Amendment Rules 2012 (No.1)

The Family Law Amendment Rules 2012 (No. 1) came into effect on 7 June 2012.

The major changes are as follows:

  1. To further define the nature of court events, the recording of which is prohibited.
  2. To make rules necessary or convenient to implement the amendments made by the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011.
  3. To implement a streamlined approach to the filing and storing of electronically filed large documents attached to affidavits.

The other amendments are of a technical drafting nature. A number of Rules are omitted or recast as the matters with which they dealt are now dealt with in the Act.

The following forms changed on 7 June 2012:

  • Acknowledgment – information from a family counsellor or family dispute resolution practitioner
  • Application for consent orders kit (and form)
  • Application for consent order kit – parenting orders legislation
  • Application for divorce kit
  • Divorce service kit
  • Initiating application kit (and form)
  • Notice of child abuse or family violence (Form 4)

New title - Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence, or Risk of Family Violence (Form 4)

  • Questionnaire – parenting
  • Response to initiating application kit (and form)

All updated forms and publications are available from 7 June 2012 on the Family Law Courts website www.familylawcourts.gov.au.

FAMILY LAW COURTS NATIONAL COMMUNICATION
FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA
FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT OF AUSTRALIA
22 MAY 2012

 

FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT

Amendment Rules 2012 (No 1)

The Federal Magistrates Court Amendment Rules 2012 (No 1) (the Amendment Rules) have been approved and are available at www.comlaw.gov.au.

The Amendment Rules commence on the day after they are registered except for the amendments contained in Schedule 2 which commence on the 7 June 2012 (being the date of commencement of the “violence provisions” of the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011).

The Amendment Rules include the following amendments to the Federal Magistrates Court Rules 2001 (“the Rules”):

  • consequential amendments as a result of the implementation of the Federal Court Rules 2011
  • consequential amendments to facilitate the “family violence” amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 as implemented by the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011*
  • amendments to the address for service rules to facilitate the authorisation of ordinary service by email
  • amendments to Schedule 1 – costs – to increase the amounts fixed consistent with recommendations of the Joint Costs Advisory Committee and to introduce a new Part 2 of Schedule 1 being costs certain child support proceedings.

* Note: Schedule 2 of the Amendment Rules include these amendments. In addition, the Federal Magistrates Court has applied, by way of Schedule 3 Part 1 application, Part 2.3 of the Family Law Rules 2004 (cases involving allegations of abuse or family violence in relation to a child). Any amendments made to those rules will be accordingly applied as in force from time to time.

ADELE BYRNE
PRINCIPAL REGISTRAR
16 MAY 2012

 

FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT

Amended approved forms – Notice of address for service and application – draft consent parenting orders

Please note the following changes:

1. Notice of Address for Service
  • The heading to the form has been changed to standardise with other Federal Magistrates Court forms.
  • The name of solicitor has been moved from the end of the form into the body of the form.
  • There is now capacity for a party to add an email address.
  • A new question regarding whether the form is being used to give notice of a change in legal representation has been added.
2. Application – draft consent parenting orders and allegations of abuse or family violence

A new Part C has been added to the form to comply with the “violence provisions” of the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011).

Note: This form is pursuant to Schedule 2 of the Amendment Rules with the commencement date of 7 June 2012.

The amended forms are available on the Federal Magistrates Court website: http://www.fmc.gov.au/forms/html/title.html.

ADELE BYRNE
PRINCIPAL REGISTRAR
16 MAY 2012

 

FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT

Electronic engrossment of orders – Family law matters - Victorian and Tasmanian registries and circuits

Effective from 4 June 2012

Preliminary

1. The court generally requires the parties to litigation to engross orders pronounced in court. Ordinarily the terms of the orders are set out in hand written or amended draft documents provided to the court at the time of making the orders.

2. The requirement to engross orders is a requirement to prepare a clean typewritten record (in the format in which court orders are ordinarily issued) of the orders made, suitable for sealing by the court and becoming a part of the written record of the proceedings.

3. The Federal Magistrates Court seeks to maximise the benefits of advances in technology. To that end, the court is adopting processes to ensure that the entire text of each order made by the court can be accessed on the Commonwealth Courts Portal. As a result the engrossed orders need to be available electronically.

4. This notice to practitioners addresses the practical requirements upon practitioners when directed to engross orders made in court.

The purpose of engrossing orders

5. The purpose of engrossing orders is to ensure that there is a clean and accurate typewritten record of the orders made by the court, in a form that can be utilised by the parties and which will be accessible through the Commonwealth Courts Portal at www.comcourts.gov.au.

6. The parties to proceedings will ordinarily require copies of engrossed court orders for their own reference and to provide to their legal advisors, other courts (such as state Magistrates Courts when exercising family violence jurisdiction), other agencies (such as the Department of Human Services and the Child Support Agency), health care providers, schools, accounting advisors, and financiers.

7. It is intended that the court’s National Enquiry Centre will be able to view the entire text of each family law order made by the court. As the text of orders will be available on the Commonwealth Courts Portal, litigants will also be able to access orders electronically in order to provide copies to other agencies, such as the Department of Human Services, courts dealing with domestic violence, and the police when appropriate to do so. The efficiencies that will be generated by these arrangements are obvious.

8. If a party requires a certified copy of a court order the court must hold an engrossed typewritten version of the order suitable for certification.

Requirements for engrossing orders

9. In order to comply with a direction to engross the orders of the court:

(a) The engrossed orders must be a true and correct copy of the orders actually made.

(b) The engrossed orders must be typewritten. The typewriting must be in Times New Roman font at 12 points, in numbered paragraphs that are double line spaced. The page size must be defined as A4.

(c) The email must contain a certification by the solicitor that “the attachment is a true and correct copy of the orders made by the court on __________day of _________ 20__, as [signed by the parties/signed by the legal advisors for the parties/initialled by the Federal Magistrate] and placed upon the court file.”

(d) The engrossed orders must be forwarded by email in .rtf (Rich Text Format) or .doc (Word for Windows format) to the chambers of the Federal Magistrate who made the orders at Associate.FM[Surname of FM]@fmc.gov.au, with the file number and name of the matter included in the subject of the email. Orders made in Dandenong should be forwarded to the Chambers Assist Team at dandenong.orders@fmc.gov.au.

(e) The engrossed orders must be emailed to the relevant Associate (or in the case of Dandenong the Chambers Assist Team) within 7 days.

10. In the absence of an order nominating which party’s legal practitioner must engross orders, the solicitor for the applicant is required to engross the orders. In the event that the applicant is not legally represented, the first solicitor for a party to the proceedings (determined in the order in which the parties are listed in the title of the proceedings) is required to engross the orders.

Orders in Chambers

11. When practitioners ask the court to make orders in chambers (either by consent or on an ex parte basis), they must email to the relevant Federal Magistrate’s associate a typed copy of the minute of proposed consent orders.

General

12. This notice can be found on the Court’s website: www.fmc.gov.au.

13. Parties and practitioners are reminded that ordinarily it is not appropriate to communicate with a Federal Magistrate’s chambers directly, and that any email sent to the associate of a Federal Magistrate pursuant to this practice direction must also be copied to each other party in the proceedings.

J PASCOE
CHIEF FEDERAL MAGISTRATE
22 May 2012

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