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Practice notes

Every Issue

Cite as: May 2011 85(5) LIJ, p.63


Family Law Courts

Family Law Amendment Rules 2011 (No 1)

The Family Law Amendment Rules 2011 (No 1) came into effect on 1 March 2011.

The forms and publications affected by this change include:

  • Consent Orders Kit (number of copies required);
  • User Guide to eFiling Divorce Applications in Family Law (timing considerations); and
  • User Guide to eFiling Initiating Applications in Family Law (timing considerations).

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

Federal Magistrates Court

Migration applications by offshore applicants and changes to Federal Magistrates Court forms
Migration applications

The current application – Migration Act form has been amended to facilitate applications by off-shore claimants.

The new form is available on the Federal Magistrates Court (FMC) website at www.fmc.gov.au/forms/html/migration_application.html.

These matters will be listed before Offshore Refugee Claimants Panel members (see below):

New South Wales
  • Federal Magistrate Nicholls (panel coordinator)
  • Federal Magistrate Raphael
  • Federal Magistrate Driver
  • Federal Magistrate Smith
  • Federal Magistrate Cameron
  • Federal Magistrate Lucev
  • Victoria
  • Federal Magistrate Riethmuller
  • Federal Magistrate Riley
  • Federal Magistrate Burchardt
  • South Australia
  • Federal Magistrate Brown
  • Western Australia
  • Federal Magistrate Lucev
  • Northern Territory
  • Federal Magistrate Lucev
  • Queensland
  • Federal Magistrate Jarrett

For any applications filed in Tasmania or the ACT, please contact the relevant registry for listing arrangements.

General applications

The current application – general federal law form has been amended to facilitate election of small claims proceedings – consumer credit.

The new form is available on the FMC website at www.fmc.gov.au/forms/html/application.html.

Fair work applications

The current application – Fair Work Division form has been amended in relation to small claims proceedings.

The new form is available on the FMC website at www.fmc.gov.au/forms/html/workplace.html.

Notice of request to inspect

The current notice of request to inspect form has been amended to clarify processes for client service staff.

The new form is available on the FMC website at www.fmc.gov.au/forms/html/subpoena.html#notice.

ADELE BYRNE, PRINCIPAL REGISTRAR, 11 MARCH 2011

County Court

Communication with associates

Notice to Practitioners NTP 1-2011

Communication between the legal profession and associates is necessary for the smooth running of the Court. All communication must be undertaken with care to ensure that the impartiality and integrity of the Court is not undermined. To this effect, the Chief Judge advises the profession as follows:

  • Communications between an associate and legal practitioners must always be open and uncontroversial.
  • Email correspondence is the preferred method of communicating with all parties included (or cc’d) as recipients. Associates’ email addresses are in the following format: firstname.surname@countycourt.vic.gov.au. A list of all associates can be found under “Judicial Contacts” on the County Court website.
  • Communication by telephone should be avoided in all but routine administrative matters which involve no controversy.
  • Associates are not permitted to give legal advice, and practitioners or parties should not request such advice.
  • Practitioners must ensure that associates avoid becoming part of the dispute between practitioners or the parties.
  • Written communications between parties and associates should be confined to matters concerning practice and procedure. Practitioners should not attempt to lodge/submit further evidence or submissions for a judge via email unless requested, nor seek the judge’s opinion on any material or course of action via contact with the associate. Such material must be submitted in open court.
  • An associate will not receive out of court communications regarding a hearing unless the other party has been notified and is included in any email correspondence.
  • A practitioner seeking a time for a hearing or agreement to a course of action should, except in ex parte hearings or where otherwise unavoidable, first inform the other parties prior to contacting an associate.
  • Where a practitioner seeks available dates for listing a matter before a judge, prior to contacting the associate they should ascertain from the other party whether the matter is contested, the likely duration of the matter and obtain the case reference number (CR/AP/CI-XX-XXXXX) from CourtConnect if available.
  • In regards to requests to list matters in the 9am Criminal Directions List:
  • requests to list uncontested matters should be made to Criminal Listings (refer to practice note PNCR 2-2010, para 10);
  • requests to list contested matters should be made to the associate to the sitting Listing Judge.
  • In regards to applications to list matters in the Commercial List and Damages and Compensation Lists, practitioners should advise the Directions Group if the matter is likely to take more than one hour so that it can be listed on an appropriate day.

CHIEF JUDGE ROZENES, 23 FEBRUARY 2011

Cash Target Rate

From 6 December 2007 law practices whose matters are governed by the Legal Profession Act 2004 cannot use the penalty interest rate for their accounts. The maximum rate is the cash rate target plus 2 per cent. The cash rate target is currently 4.75 per cent (from 3 November 2010). To monitor any changes between editions of the LIJ, practitioners should check www.rba.gov.au/statistics/cash-rate.html.

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