Summary of the policy updates that has been made due to Covid-19 in the Local Court of New South Wales.
- Arrangements to be by teleconference/audio visual link (AVL)
- Wherever possible all appearances by persons in custody whether from a Correctional centre or a police station are to be by AVL
- Magistrates will not issue Orders requiring the physical presence of a person in custody before the Court.
- Civil proceedings are to be conducted by teleconference
- Proceedings currently listed for hearing
- Where there is a change of plea the Court is to be notified by electronic or written means
- need for the attendance of the defendant.
- Hearing of matters before an Assessor in the Small Claims division of the Local Court will take place by teleconference.
2. Unrepresented defendants
- Unrepresented defendants wishing to enter a plea of guilty can notify the court of that fact by email or by written plea; Not quired to attend unless magistrate considers that the offence is so serious
Trying to reduce the need to come to the court unless the offence is so serious that their attendance is absolutely necessary
3. No attendance required
- The Court will NOT REQUIRE the attendance of the person in need of protection in respect of any application brought by police for a Domestic Violence Order
- unless the proceedings are fixed for hearing
- The court will be cautious in dealing with matters in the absence of a defendant.
- If there is no appearance by a defendant and no communication as to the approach to be taken in relation to the matter before the court the Court will adjourn the proceedings until a date in June 2020 and advise the defendant.
- At present the Court has set aside the month of October 2020 to endeavour to catch up on backlogs. It is the present intention not to list any defended hearings during this month.
- Effective from 16 March 2020