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Sometimes, the Childrens Court can let people who are not a child’s parents or guardian be involved in a child protection court case (proceedings). This factsheet explains:
The law says certain people are ‘parties’ to a child protection order application in the Childrens Court. These parties are:
The law says the Childrens Court may make an order allowing a person who is not a party to the child protection proceedings to become a ‘non-party participant’ and be involved in the proceedings.
When deciding if you should be a non-party participant the magistrate will consider:
Grandparents, family members or the child’s carers are some examples of non-party participants the Childrens Court has previously allowed. The magistrate considers each request to be a non-party participant on a case by case basis. The magistrate may deny your request if they don’t think you should be involved in the court proceedings.
The Childrens Court has some different options magistrates can consider when making a non-party participant order. These options are outlined in the Child Protection Act 1999.
If the court makes an order allowing you to take part in the proceedings as a non-party, it must state:
Get legal advice to find out what sort of order you should ask the court for based on your situation.
Court forms and documents can be downloaded or printed from the ‘Forms’ section of the Queensland Courts website, in the ‘Child Protection Act 1999 and Childrens Court Act 1992’ category. Visit www.courts.qld.gov.au/about/forms
If the magistrate agrees to make you a non-party participant in a court proceedings, make sure you get a copy of the order from the court registry. You will need this order if you want to apply to Legal Aid Queensland for a lawyer to represent you.
You should also file a Notice of address for service with the court registry. Give a copy to the lawyer applying for the child protection order and to the other parties to the proceedings or their lawyers.
Your Notice of address for servicewill give the court and the other parties in your case, the address where court documents and notices can be served on you, and your contact telephone number and email address.
If a lawyer is acting for you, your lawyer will file the Notice of address for serviceas it is your lawyer’s address that needs to be given to the court and the other parties in your case.
If the details on your Notice of address for service change, you will need to file another one and give a copy to the other parties in the case. This will give the court and the other parties involved in the case your updated contact information.
If you want a lawyer to represent you, you can apply for legal aid. You should get free legal advice from us before you complete a Legal Aid Queensland application form. Call Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88 (cost of a local call from a landline in Australia) to get free legal advice.
If you submit an application form, you will need to attach a copy of the magistrate’s non-party participant order and any other documents the application form asks for.
If you would like this factsheet explained in your language, please phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 to speak to an interpreter. Ask them to connect you to Legal Aid Queensland. If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact us using the National Relay Service. To make a call, go to the National Relay Service website and ask for 1300 65 11 88 (Legal Aid Queensland’s legal information line). These are free services.
Last updated 29 September 2021