COVID-19 has affected our courts with matters adjourned for lengthy periods to reduce numbers attending court.
As we are all aware the strict restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to every part of our lives. The court process and the criminal justice system have not been immune.
Many matters have been adjourned for lengthy periods of time to reduce the number of people attending court, to protect court staff and to comply with social distancing regulations.
Some matters in the civil and family jurisdictions are continuing through the use of telephone and video conferencing.
Criminal matters before the Local Court
If you have a criminal matter before the Local Court you should contact the registry of the relevant court to confirm whether you need to attend court in person as you may not need to attend on the day. This will depend on what stage your matter is at if the matter is being finalised you may still be required to attend in person. Some matters will be able to be dealt with and finalised by way of a written plea. We can assist you by obtaining instructions and preparing written submissions on your behalf. If you are in doubt as to how you should plead or if there are things in the police report that you don’t agree with, you should seek legal advice.
If you need to attend court strict social distancing measures are in place and each court has its own procedure. Some courts are only allowing one matter to be heard at a time and limiting the number of people in court.
Most criminal hearings in the Local Court have been adjourned, but if you are entering a plea of guilty, the court may still deal with your matter during the current COVID-19 restrictions.