To All our Valued Clients,
We are here to help you through this difficulty time. We are open as usual, contactable 24/7 on 1800 100 529 and will continue to provide best service and legal representation during this difficult time.
We are adhering to strict health and safety measures and have implemented risk management initiatives based on the advice of Federal and State governments to ensure we protect the health and safety of our employees and clients.
Our ability to help you at court will not change but our staff will be incorporating social distancing measures – which means we will have to hold off on handshakes for now.
We would like to share some restrictions that have come into place with the way Criminal and Traffic Law Cases are to be conducted and managed in NSW Courts.
How does this Impact your Case?
The NSW Government has announced restrictions on NSW Courts which impact all Criminal and Traffic Cases, effective immediately. We encourage you to work closely with your lawyer as these restrictions are evolving weekly, however, please be assured that we will be communicating each change to you as it happens.
In the Local Court
NSW Local Courts will continue to run as normal with priority given to custody matters (people in prison):
- Defendant In Custody – Plea of Not Guilty Hearings (Both Criminal and Civil) between 23 March and 1 May 2020 will remain listed, and heard as normal, with the Defendant appearing by Audio and Video facility. Lawyers attend in person.
- If the Defendant is in Corrective Services Custody or Police Custody, he/she will NOT be taken to a Court (This includes First appearance, hearings, sentence matters and mentions). The Defendant is to appear by Audio Video facility.
- Defended is not custody – Plea of Not Guilty Hearings (Both Criminal and Civil) between 23 March 2020 and 1 May 2020 – your lawyer will need to make arrangements to have that hearing vacated (adjourned) and organise a new listing date, whether for mention or otherwise.
- All matters listed for mention or for adjournment, will require the Lawyer to coordinate appearance with the Court Registry. Defendants do not appear in these matters.
- If the case is for sentence or licence appeal, bail application, section 32 application, you may attend court but check with your lawyer as each case varies. Your lawyer must attend to finalise the case for you.
- Family members and those not part of the case must not attend court locations at all.
In the District Court
From Monday, 16 March 2020, Jury trials will be temporarily suspended to limit social contact amongst jurors. Current trials, where a jury has already been selected and empanelled, will continue. The General List of matters involving mentions, arraignments, appeals and sentence hearings will continue as normal, but must adhere to social distancing and court facility restrictions. Defendants in custody will appear by Audio/Video facility.
In the Supreme Court
Effective immediately, all matters are to be heard by Audio/Video facility and proceed as normal, with lawyers adhering to new procedural and practice directions.
What Is Required of You
You and your lawyer are both required to have your case ready to avoid unnecessary delay. Therefore, we will continue to work closely with you to prepare your case and delivery best service at court. Please do not hesitate to contact your lawyer directly or call 1800 100 529 to speak to us 24/7.
Our Commitment to You
As our employees interact with clients and court staff, we have taken steps to limit exposure to the virus. We are constantly aligning with public health authorities and protecting our employees and clients as the situation unfolds.
We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety and health of our communities, but we need your help. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have a scheduled appointment at the office, please let your Solicitor know so that we can discuss options with you to ensure our collective well-being.
Additionally, we have Audio/Video Conference solutions available to help you meet with your Solicitor without having to attend the Office. We encourage you to consider using them during this time.
Please remember that we are here to help and are available to answer your questions 24/7.
The Team at Powerhouse Law Australia