New and revised Practice Notes dealing with Online Court Protocol in the Equity Division of the NSW Supreme Court have been added to the By Lawyers Litigation commentaries.
Our NSW litigation author has amended the Acting for the Plaintiff and Acting for the Defendant commentaries in our Supreme Court – Equity Division Guides to incorporate these important procedural changes brought in by the recent amendments to Practice Note SC Eq 1 and the introduction of the new Practice Note SC Eq 14. These Practice Notes apply concurrently to all cases in the Equity Division General List that are case managed by the Registrar in Equity.
Important points to note about the new provisions of the Practice Notes include:
- All matters will be managed via Online Court.
- If the Registrar in Equity determines that certain matters are to be heard in open court the times and location of directions hearings may change and the Practice Note requires that the daily Court list should always be checked.
- Failure to submit requests or consent orders in the Online Court in accordance with the time frames set out in the Practice Note will be treated as a non-appearance in the proceedings, upon which the Registrar will issue a notice and a subsequent failure may result in the proceedings being dismissed.
- The initial timetable should consider reference and/or mediation.
- If the parties have not attempted to resolve the dispute through mediation or other appropriate ADR procedures, they should expect a mediation date to be allocated prior to or when a matter is set down for hearing.
- If the Court makes an order for court annexed mediation, the parties are to attend upon the Registrar in Equity, using the Online Court, within 24 hours of the order being made to obtain a date for mediation.
- Agreement will be reached between the parties on a timetable for the preparation of matters for trial and/or reference and/or mediation and Consent Orders. Evidence of this agreed timetable will be transmitted to the Registrar using the Online Court by no later than 2:30 PM on the second day preceding the Online Court sitting.
- All Consent Orders will be made using Online Court; emails will not be accepted. The text of any orders the parties are seeking must be fully set out in the Online Court request.
Trial Length Estimates
- When parties are seeking to have the matter set down for hearing, the parties will be expected to give full details of the trial, to ensure that the estimate of the length of the hearing is accurate. Annexure B to Practice Note SC Eq 1 provides for a Direction the Court will give requiring practitioners to monitor the estimate for the length of the trial.
- If the hearing is likely to be longer than five days the trial date will be set in consultation with the Chief Judge in Equity.
The move to case management via the Online Court in the Equity Division is a significant shift in Court process and one of which all practitioners need to be well aware and prepared to embrace. The up to date and practical focus of the By Lawyers Supreme Court Guides ensures it is easy to understand and comply with the new procedures.