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Family Courts create special process for matters directly impacted by Covid-19

The Family Courts have introduced a special list for matters where there is urgency as a direct result of the impact of Covid-19. 
    
    In order for a matter to be considered eligible a matter must satisfy the following: 
    
•    It is urgent; 
•    It has been filed with the Court as a direct result of Covid-19;
•    Reasonable attempts have been made to resolve the issue without success; 
•    The matter is capable of being dealt with by electronic means;
•    An Affidavit that addresses this criteria accompanies the Application.

The COVID-19 List will operate in each Court and be administered by Registrars of each Court. The Registrars will consider the urgency of the applications filed and triage them to Judges in each Court who have been assigned to the COVID-19 List.

Applications that meet the COVID-19 criteria will be given a first return date within 3 business days of being considered by the Registrar, or less if assessed as critically urgent.

If the application does not meet the relevant criteria for inclusion in the COVID-19 List, it will be listed into a duty list for hearing in the ordinary course.

The COVID-19 List will operate electronically, meaning that the application may be heard (electronically) by a Judge from any Registry around Australia. 

Some examples of matters that may be relevant for the List include:

•    where a supervision centre is no longer open and other arrangements (such as video calls) are not possible;
•    where ordinarily travel interstate or overseas is required for time to occur; 
•    where the parent, child or a member of the household has tested positive for Covid-19; and
•    Where family violence is occurring as a result of the restrictions imposed by Covid-19. 

    The process took effect on 28 April 2020 and will continue until it is revoked by the Court. 

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

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