Electronic filing for all without notice applications in the Family Court

As of 1 November 2015, all without notice applications filed in the Family Court within the greater Auckland region must now be filed electronically via email to AKMetrowithoutnotice@justice.govt.nz (unless there are technical reasons as to why the document cannot be filed electronically).

Proceedings should be sent by way of PDF file. The PDF file is expected to include the following:

  • application(s);
  • supporting affidavit(s);
  • information sheet(s); and
  • other relevant information (e.g. memoranda, information for the police, non-violence programme information, etc).

If there is more than one set of proceedings being filed, all sets of proceedings should be filed in one email. The PDF file should be labelled the same as the subject line (see below).

However, if counsel is filing a Fee Waiver request, that application and supporting evidence should be attached to the email as a separate PDF file and be labelled “Fee Waiver Request”.

All applications filed must be in the requisite form (as approved by the Ministry of Justice).

Forms should also:

  • be typed where possible;
  • clearly specify the order being sought; and
  • be completed (if information is not provided in a particular section then that section should be crossed out).

The PDF file should be scanned as follows:

  • only once;
  • in the correct order and all pages the same way up;
  • in colour;
  • at 200dpi; and
  • no more than 10MB of PDF files to be attached to the email.

The email needs to include the following:

  • The subject line – which shall only include the parties’ surnames (followed by their initials) and the orders which are sought, for example Edwards A v Edwards B & Brown C W/N Protection Order, or Edwards J v Edwards B & Brown C W/N Protection Order and Parenting Order.
  • The body – which shall include the following:
    • Counsel’s details: full name, phone number, email address, and details of an alternative contact (someone else who can be contacted by the Registry regarding the matter in case counsel cannot be contacted);
    • FAM number of existing proceedings; and
    • Details of how any associated fees will be paid (if there is no Fee Waiver request).

Payment can be made by way of posting a cheque, or by way of credit/debit card payment over the phone.

Other important points to note

The Family Court will consider without notice applications filed electronically on the same day, if filed by 3:30pm (if filed after 3:30pm, they may be considered on the following working day).

Counsel, or their appointed alternative contact, must be contactable until they are notified of the outcome (including after 5:00pm).

Counsel do not have to file a hard copy of the electronically-filed proceedings unless directed to do so.

The email should not be copied to any other person besides counsel and their appointed alternative contact.

Counsel shall not include copies of Judges’ minutes, judgments or existing Orders in the email. If counsel consider such documents as relevant, the documents should be referred to by counsel in a separate letter briefly explaining their relevance. The letter should be attached to the email as a separate PDF and be labelled “Request to file further documents”.

References:

  • Rule 76(2)(b) of the Family Court Rules 2002;
  • Practice Note of Principal Family Court Judge, Laurence Ryan dated 13 October 2015.

 

Supervised Contact

Approved providers have contacted the ADLS Family Law Committee to raise an issue around funding for the costs of supervised contact.

Providers are being placed in a difficult position when practitioners fail to apply for funding in a timely manner, or at all. Practitioners are reminded that funding is available for the costs of supervised contact provided by an approved provider.

Section 60 of the Care of Children Act 2004 gives the Family Court the right to approve funding for the costs of supervised contact if it has been ordered pursuant to section 59 and the supervision is to be provided by an approved provider. Counsel need to be aware of this provision and apply for the funding at the time supervised contact is being directed or consented to.

As the costs of supervised contact are high, it is important to consider how it will be paid for in each case to avoid contact faltering before it has even started. Including the provision for costs to be paid in a memorandum of consent, or making an oral application when such contact is directed by the Family Court, ensures the matter is addressed at the outset.

Counsel should be realistic in the number of sessions required to be funded as it is difficult to get the matter of the funding for contact dealt with if the funding runs out before the matter is next reviewed by the Court.

Where supervised contact has commenced before the Family Court approves funding it is possible to get retrospective funding.

The paper from a recent ADLS seminar “DVA: The Interface with CoCA” is available for sale by contacting the ADLS bookstore by phone: 09 306 5740, fax: 09 306 5741 or email: thestore@adls.org.nz

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