So you’ve been served with Court papers and have to attend Court. It can be tempting to stick your head in the sand and hope it will all go away. Whatever you do, DON’T IGNORE WHAT IS HAPPENING.
1. Seek advice early on – Don’t wait until a day or two before the Court date to make an appointment for legal advice. An application will generally require you to file a RESPONSE within a set time period.
2. Comply with any Orders made by a Court within the required time period. If you anticipate difficulty complying with the request notify the other party ahead of time and see if they will agree to an extension of time
3. Make sure you know where the Court is located and get there well ahead of your scheduled time. This may seem basic but the Court is regularly held up by litigants who have attended the wrong Court or not allowed sufficient time to park their car and find the way to the Court. The Family Law Courts in Cairns are located on Level 3, Commonwealth Government Centre, 104 Grafton Street. (This is not the same location as the Criminal and Civil Courts which are located on Sheridan Street next to the police station).
4. When you appear in Court always be courteous to the Judge and other parties. Some Judges will have pet hates such as wearing sunglasses on your head or putting drinks on the bar table. If you are unsure of appropriate Court etiquette, seek legal advice or speak to a Court Officer ahead of time. There is nothing worse than upsetting the Judge prior to your matter even commencing.
5. Dress appropriately. It is not necessary to wear a four piece suit to Court but you should dress in a manner that shows you are respectful of the Court process. Don’t wear bare feet or thongs, and make sure you are neatly groomed. Take a jacket as it can get cold in the Court room.
6. Turn off your phone or put it on silent when you are in the Court room. Nothing annoys a Judge more than a phone ringing whilst the Court is in session.
7. Make sure you take all relevant paperwork with you to Court. Don’t assume it won’t be needed on the first date or the Court will have spare copies of any documents you have filed. You should ensure you keep a copy of any documents yourself or the other party file in Court.
Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us.