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Without Notice Applications in the Family Court : a report prepared for the Ministry of Justice Nan Wehipeihana, Kellie Spee and Shaun Akroyd

By: Wehipeihana, Nan.
Contributor(s): Spee, Kellie | Akroyd, Shaun | New Zealand. Ministry of Justice.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Wellington, New Zealand : Ministry of Justice, 2017Description: electronic document (50 pages) ; PDF file.Subject(s): CARE OF CHILDREN ACT 2004 | CHILD WELFARE | DATA ANALYSIS | DISPUTE RESOLUTION | -- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | FAMILY COURT | FAMILY DISPUTE RESOLUTION | INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | JUSTICE | PARENTS | SEPARATION | NEW ZEALANDOnline resources: Click here to access online | Access the webpage Summary: Without Notice Applications in the Family Court :: a report prepared for the Ministry of Justice Nan Wehipeihana, Kellie Spee and Shaun Akroyd - Wellington, New Zealand : Ministry of Justice, 2017 - electronic document (50 pages) ; PDF file In March 2014, the Government made significant changes to the family justice system. “The purpose of the reforms is to ensure a modern, accessible family justice system that is responsive to children and vulnerable people, and is efficient and effective” (Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill, p. 1). The reforms changed the way in which the family justice system assists separating couples to reach agreement about care and contact arrangements for their children. The reforms shifted the focus from Court resolution of these disputes to encouraging parents to reach agreement themselves, where this is appropriate, and to prevent disputes from occurring or escalating. Key changes were made to out-of-Court and in-Court processes: The main out-of-Court changes introduced services that parents must attempt before applying for a parenting or guardianship order, unless an exemption applies, for example, if there had been violence. This included enhancing Parenting Through Separation (PTS), introducing Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) and Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS); The main in-Court change saw the removal of lawyers from the initial stages of on notice applications under the Care of Children Act 20041 (COCA), unless an exception applies, with lawyers only able to represent parties when applications are made without notice, there are previous related applications or the application is made concurrent to a different application type. Since the reforms, the number of COCA applications filed without notice has more than doubled and continues to climb, even though no change was made to the criteria to apply without notice. Before the reforms, there was a 70:30 split of with notice applications and without notice applications. This has now reversed. Interviewed family law professionals stated that this has significantly impacted on judicial and registry capacity, with resources having to be reallocated to manage without notice applications, reducing available resources to progress cases and hearing time for other types of applications. The primary aim of the research is to understand the causes of the increase in without notice COCA applications being filed in the Family Court since the reforms in March 2014. These are the key research questions: What are the key drivers for applicants when choosing to file without notice applications?; What impact does filing a without notice application have on involved parties and processes?; To what extent have the Family Court reforms influenced the increase in without notice applications? (From the Executive summary). More reports relating to the 2014 Family Court reforms can be found on the webpage. Record #5830
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Without Notice Applications in the Family Court :: a report prepared for the Ministry of Justice Nan Wehipeihana, Kellie Spee and Shaun Akroyd - Wellington, New Zealand : Ministry of Justice, 2017 - electronic document (50 pages) ; PDF file

In March 2014, the Government made significant changes to the family justice system. “The purpose of the reforms is to ensure a modern, accessible family justice system that is responsive to children and vulnerable people, and is efficient and effective” (Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill, p. 1).

The reforms changed the way in which the family justice system assists separating couples to reach agreement about care and contact arrangements for their children. The reforms shifted the focus from Court resolution of these disputes to encouraging parents to reach agreement themselves, where this is appropriate, and to prevent disputes from occurring or escalating.

Key changes were made to out-of-Court and in-Court processes: The main out-of-Court changes introduced services that parents must attempt before applying for a parenting or guardianship order, unless an exemption applies, for example, if there had been violence. This included enhancing Parenting Through Separation (PTS), introducing Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) and Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS); The main in-Court change saw the removal of lawyers from the initial stages of on notice applications under the Care of Children Act 20041 (COCA), unless an exception applies, with lawyers only able to represent parties when applications are made without notice, there are previous related applications or the application is made concurrent to a different application
type.

Since the reforms, the number of COCA applications filed without notice has more than doubled and continues to climb, even though no change was made to the criteria to apply without notice. Before the reforms, there was a 70:30 split of with notice applications and without notice applications. This has now reversed. Interviewed family law professionals stated that this has significantly impacted on judicial and registry capacity, with resources having to be reallocated to manage without notice applications, reducing available resources to progress cases and hearing time for other types of applications.

The primary aim of the research is to understand the causes of the increase in without notice COCA applications being filed in the Family Court since the reforms in March 2014. These are the key research questions: What are the key drivers for applicants when choosing to file without notice applications?; What impact does filing a without notice application have on involved parties and processes?; To what extent have the Family Court reforms influenced the increase in without notice applications? (From the Executive summary). More reports relating to the 2014 Family Court reforms can be found on the webpage. Record #5830