A contemporary approach to delivering legal services
The Magistrates Court has confirmed that it will remain open at all locations. It has, however implemented a number of temporary measures to reduce the number of people in court buildings.
If you are not in custody, your matter will be adjourned. You do not need to go to Court. If you are on bail, your bail will be extended in your absence. You should continue to comply with any conditions of your bail undertaking.
The Court has nominated the 15th of June as the adjourned date for all matters, but this is likely to change in the future.
Certain hearings for accused in custody will be heard by audio visual link. These include bail applications and guilty pleas. Contested hearings for in custody accused will be adjourned to the nominal date of the 15th of June.
We will be contacting all clients with upcoming criminal matters in the Magistrates Court in due course. If you have any questions or concerns about your matter, please contact us for clarification.
INTERVENTION ORDER PROCEEDINGS
Other than new applications (first listings) all Family Violence and Intervention Order matters will be adjourned. You do not need to go to Court. The Court will advise you of new hearing dates in due course. We will be in contact with all clients with upcoming Intervention Order hearings shortly.
If you are experiencing family violence please do not hesitate to contact us for specific advice. We will endeavour to be as flexible as possible in how we deliver our services to ensure that your safety is not compromised.
Unless you are specifically told to, you do not need to go to Court. There are provisions for applications to be determined based on paperwork filed, or adjourned. Please contact us if you need clarification in relation to your civil matter.
Special measures are also in place in other Courts and we will provide information in relation to these separately.
CHILDREN'S COURT – CRIMINAL DIVISION
At this stage it appears that Children's Court Criminal Division will continue to operate. There are provisions for matters to be adjourned without attending Court. Current listings are being reviewed and Court times may be staggered to reduce the number of people at Court.
We will be in contact with all clients with upcoming Children's Court Criminal matters to discuss their particular situation.
Court Counters will be closed as of today, but Registries will continue to operate via Phone and online services.
Courts will be conducting their work by telephone wherever possible, with a view to introducing videoconferencing. Only urgent matters will be dealt with by face to face hearings, and specific protocols will apply to these.
Final defended hearings that are assessed as being of low priority may be referred back to Alternative Dispute Resolution, and will otherwise be adjourned indefinitely.
We will be in contact with all Family Law clients with upcoming Court dates shortly to provide specific advice as to how their matter is likely to proceed.
The County Court has suspended all new Jury Trials. They will be auditing upcoming listings, and potentially bringing other matters such as Pleas and Sentence Appeals forward. All Appeals against conviction will be vacated, and will not be listed for hearing in the short term.
If you have an upcoming County Court matter with our office we will be in touch with you shortly to advise you about the next steps.
These are unprecedented times.
We understand that the health and safety of the population is paramount, and to that end we support moves by State and Federal Governments to restrict activity with a view to curbing the spread of COVID-19.
We had already put in place measures to protect our staff, clients and community, by minimising face to face contact as far as possible. What recent announcements mean for the legal industry, our little business and our clients is not yet clear.
We expect a whirlwind of information over the next 24 hours, as State and Federal Government policies are finalised and implemented, and key stakeholders including Courts, Corrections and Victoria Legal Aid clarify their respective positions.
The issues faced by those embroiled in our key practice areas - criminal law, family violence and family law – are not generally the kinds of things that can be put off until after a global pandemic has been cleared up.
What happens next, in terms of the operation of the legal system, will affect important rights such as liberty, safety and family. Indeed, we are aware that in these challenging times our client’s legal needs are likely to become more complex and pressing.
We are of the view that many of the activities that we conduct are indeed ‘essential’, and we are willing to fight, if required, to continue to provide these services in a safe and effective manner.
We see opportunities in this adversity, for a system and an industry that have been resistant to modernisation. Flexible work practices and the broader adoption of technological resources are going to be integral to the progression of matters and the provision of services moving forward.
We will endeavour to provide general updates as appropriate and will contact individual clients to provide advice in due course.
In the meantime, stay safe, stay distant and stay tuned…
At Justice Crew we take our social responsibilities seriously. The health and safety of our staff, clients and community is our priority. We pride ourselves on being progressive and recognise that as the world that we operate in changes, we need to adapt and evolve.
Based on what we understand of the way that the COVID-19 virus has spread in other communities around the world, we are making some pre-emptive changes to the way we deliver our services.
We will be limiting person to person contact as far as is reasonably practical. Appointments will be by telephone or videoconference unless it is necessary to meet face to face. Our staff will be transitioning to working remotely, and the office will be unstaffed wherever possible.
We already have systems in place to support these changes, but some updates may be required. We are committed to maintaining open lines of communication with new and existing clients and ask for your patience and understanding during this process.
At this stage we will continue to appear in person at Court where necessary and appropriate. We note that some Courts have already restricted listings or made provisions for appearances via audio-visual link.
Where we do need to come into contact with clients, whether at Court or in the office we will ask them to take standard precautions. These include advising us if they are feeling unwell or have recently returned from interstate or overseas travel.
We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and follow expert advice. If you have any concerns about how these changes will affect your matter, feel free to contact us by telephone or email.
Justice Crew provides high quality legal services including advice and representation at Court. We are a law firm based in Frankston in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. We practice in criminal law, family law, driving offences, family violence and personal safety intervention orders.
We are a Victoria Legal Aid Panel Firm for summary crime, youth crime and intervention order matters. This means that we can assist you to submit a Legal Aid application for these matter types. If you are eligible and your application is approved, Legal Aid will fund us to act on your behalf.
We offer many of our services on a fixed fee basis. This provides certainty to you. We are able to offer the flexibility of an installment plan to assist you paying your legal fees.