4 August 2021
Update from Court Services Queensland
As you will be aware the Deputy Premier has announced an extension to the lockdown period that South East Queensland local government areas went into on 4pm Saturday 31 July 2021 to 4 pm Sunday 8 August 2021.
Magistrates Court Arrangements
The Chief Magistrate has issued arrangements for the lockdown – there are no changes to lockdown arrangements during the extended lockdown period.
Supreme and District Court
The QEII courthouse will remain open but you are encouraged not to attend unless necessary. A drop box has been established and the counter closed during the lockdown. For further information regarding court arrangements please see the notice to the profession
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)
QCAT will hear minor civil dispute matters by telephone from Tuesday 3 August 2021 until COB Friday 6 August 2021. Parties will be contacted and advised they are required to attend by telephone. QCAT have requested that late submissions/evidence etc received by registries via email should be accepted so the matters can proceed.
Queensland Corrective Services have determined that the Correctional Centres in the south east QLD corner as far north as Maryborough, will remain at Stage 3 operations to Sunday 8 August 2021, affecting – Arthur Gorrie; Borallon; Brisbane; Brisbane Women’s; Maryborough; Southern QLD; Wolston; Woodford; PAH Secure Unit; and Palen Creek, Numinbah and Helana Jones.
Additionally, a decision has been made to return Capricornia Correctional Centre to Stage 3 operations, due to the risk associated with a positive COVID-19 case having exposure in the Rockhampton area. This has taken effect and will see all visits to the Centre suspended.
At this time, Townsville and Lotus Glen Correctional Centres remain in Stage 1.
Rest of Queensland
Court registries not in the effected LGAs are aware that defendants, practitioners and other parties may be within lockdown areas and may therefore request remote appearances or adjournments. QCAT matters will proceed in those courts not affected by lockdown.
If you have been in an impacted area masks will be required in courthouses in line with the guidance unless you have a lawful reason not to wear one.
The impacted areas of South East Queensland include:
- City of Brisbane
- Moreton Bay Regional Council
- City of Gold Coast
- City of Ipswich
- Lockyer Valley Regional Council
- Logan City
- Noosa Shire Council
- Redland City
- Scenic Rim Regional Council
- Somerset Regional Council
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council
A full list of restrictions and COVID19 data is available here
Further updates will be provided as they become available.
For urgent issues please see the key contacts below:
Magistrates Court Service
Contacts regarding state-wide court and registry operations for Magistrates Courts Service and Supreme & District Court services outside of Brisbane:
Contact regarding court and registry operations for Supreme and District Courts in Brisbane:
Update for the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court
The following is to advise of arrangements the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have put in place with regards to accessing subpoenaed material during the lockdown affecting the Brisbane registry.
In order to reduce the amount of staff, practitioners and litigants physically attending the registry buildings, the Courts have put in place a temporary procedure to permit parties and practitioners to inspect and copy subpoenaed material where they have an urgent hearing or trial up to the end of September and the information is of an urgent or priority nature.
SMIN-4 Special Measures Information Note - Subpoena Inspection in the Brisbane Registry sets out this process (attached) and is available on each Court’s website:
Where material is not ‘inspect only’ and ‘photocopy access’ is provided, it will be emailed to the party or practitioner directly.
Where material is for ‘inspection only’, the following procedure will apply:
- Where all parties are represented:
- The request will be referred to a Registrar who will confirm release with an undertaking that the material will be destroyed once inspected.
- Documents will then be emailed to the requesting practitioner with a limited protection which will disable the ability to print, save or forward the material.
- The practitioner will then confirm with the Court that the material has been destroyed.
- Where at least one party is unrepresented:
- The request will be referred to the chambers of the presiding Judge for consideration.
- The Judge will consider whether it is essential that the matter must continue or if it can be adjourned for a period until the current restrictions are eased.
- If it is essential for the matter to continue, a Registry officer will be in contact with the party to discuss arrangements for inspection at the Registry building.
It is critically important to ensure procedural fairness that practitioners refrain from taking photos or otherwise disseminating ‘inspect only’ material.