The following information has been supplied by the Ministry of Justice

Updated 30 August 2021

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, the Chief Justice released a media statement regarding the court arrangements for Alert Levels 3 and 4 (Delta Variant).

As the Prime Minister announced that the Auckland region and Northland will remain in Alert Level 4 for at least two weeks (while everyone South of Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 after 11.59pm this Tuesday), please find attached the updated South Auckland newsletter focusing on Alert Level 4 updates and measures for South Auckland Courts.

This information focuses on the updated Alert Level 4 Protocol (25 August 2021), namely additional matters considered to be priority proceedings that can be heard during Level 4.

Thank you for your patience and your support

Given it has been almost two weeks since we have been operating under Alert Level 4 together, I wanted to take the time to say thank you for your patience and support so far. I know things will be challenging for many of you at this time.  However, I continue to feel grateful to be working with our committed South Auckland Courts staff and alongside our collaborative South Auckland Sector to still make things happen during the challenges of Level 4.  On behalf of South Auckland Courts, please pass on my huge thanks and appreciation to your teams and networks.

Mā te whititahi, ka whakatutuki ai ngā pūmanawa ā tangata

Weaving the realisation of potential together

South Auckland Courts Managers

The updated contact list of South Auckland managers is attached should you need to contact any of the managers urgently.  

On-Site Managers

Week beginning Monday 30 August

 

Criminal

Sione Fifita

Esita Teisi

Sharyn Lochore

Family

Tracy Marsh

Papakura/Pukekohe

Sue Kirk

Court Security

Ben Murphy

   

*All other managers are still available by email or phone

Fa’amalosi, kia kaha and stay strong - We’re all in this together

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The Chief Justice has released a Media Statement (17 August 2021) regarding the interim court arrangements for today and tomorrow (Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 August) of the Level 4 lockdown.  Download information detailed below.

Priority proceedings will go ahead – see revised District Court Level 4 Protocol (17 August 2021).

All non-priority proceedings scheduled for today and tomorrow will be administratively adjourned, including jury trials.

The Registry will be in contact with counsel and parties to provide rescheduled hearing dates for non-priority proceedings.

A big thank you to you all for your patience and support as we got our Level 4 priority proceedings running today.  South Auckland Courts have responded so well to going into lockdown and this has made for a very smooth transition.  There will always be little bits and pieces to iron out but we are tackling these with calmness and experience. 

Criminal
All scheduled matters with defendants in custody will continue during Alert Level 4.
All South Auckland priority proceedings will be held at Manukau. Therefore, all Papakura and Pukekohe priority proceedings will be called from Manukau.
Defendants in custody will appear by AVL before a Judge, except for arrests where detainees will appear in person, if not symptomatic. The custody unit will be closely monitoring symptoms of all detainees.
For any defendant in custody scheduled to appear in person, the Registry will be working with the prisons to convert their appearance to AVL.
 

Family Violence
Under the revised Alert Level 4 Protocol, priority proceedings include matters that fall into the category of ‘personal safety and wellbeing’. Accordingly, parties/counsel may file a memorandum with the court by email if any non-custodial family violence matters, scheduled to be called during Alert Level 4, should be put before a judge. Please email the relevant court (see attached Contact List).


Jury Trials
Jury trials scheduled to continue this week are adjourned to a Callover at 9.00am, Thurs 26 August.
There were no jury trials at Manukau that had reached the stage of deliberation.

Bail Support Services

Manukau, Papakura and Pukekohe Bail Support Services will continue their support and services remotely - more.

The following arrangements are for Bail Support Services:

Bail Information Report’s (BIR): Attached is the required BSS address check form to fill out. If the defendant is able to provide contact details for the proposed occupant we can provide a BIR on the day. However, if there are no contact details provided, BSS are conducting letter drops in the community to establish contact with proposed occupants on a Monday and Thursday, therefore the BIR would be provided to the courts once the letter drop is completed, and the occupant makes contact with the BSO.

Electronic Monitoring Bail Reports (EMBR): BSS will continue to process and complete EMBR’s. BSS will rely on counsel/defendants being able to provide contact details at the application stage. However, if there are no contact details provided, BSS are conducting letter drops in the community to establish contact with proposed occupants on a Monday and Thursday, therefore once the occupant(s) makes contact, the BSO will progress with the EMBR assessment.

Youth Court

The Youth Court will only deal with priority proceedings under Alert Level 4 – see revised District Court Level 4 Protocol for Youth Court.
In any priority proceeding the Youth Court will operate, to the extent practicable, by way of AVL.
All non-priority proceedings scheduled for today and tomorrow will be administratively adjourned for two weeks from their scheduled hearing date.


Family Court
The Family Court will only deal with priority proceedings under Alert Level 4 – see revised District Court Level 4 Protocol for the Family Court.
More information will be provided in due course.


Civil
Priority civil proceedings have been identified for Alert Level 4 – see revised District Court Level 4 Protocol for Civil.


Papakura and Pukekohe Courts Closed
Papakura and Pukekohe Courts will be closed to the public. All scheduled priority Papakura and Pukekohe matters will be called from Manukau via AVL.

Limited access and attendance at Courts

All South Auckland priority proceedings will be held via AVL from the Manukau Court.
A Judge and Registrar will be in the courtroom.
All counsel, court participants and accredited media are strongly encouraged to participate by AVL.
Please ensure that when appearing via AVL, that your full name is displayed clearly and role – e.g. counsel, prosecutor, probation, media etc. This is to help identify those appearing.

Please see VMR guidelines (attached) on how to connect to a hearing. If you are unable to attend remotely, please apply in writing to the presiding judge via email for permission to attend in-person.
Where an in-person court hearing must take place, attendance in court will be strictly limited.
 

Public Counters Closed
All public counters, including the Manukau Customer Service Centre, will be closed during Level 4.
All documents are to be filed by email or by post. Dropboxes are not available.
Please note if you do not have a scanner, you may take photos of the documents and email it to the court.
Payment of fees in all proceedings can be made in the usual way via electronic filing and payment. Parties can File and Pay Online.
If a person needs to make an urgent without notice family application and are unable to lodge it online, please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) to arrange a time to come to the Court and file their application.


Masks, PPE and Additional Hygiene Measures
Masks MUST always be worn in all court areas of the courts, particularly indoors – unless permission is given by a Judge.
PPE and wipes are available on request at the security station at the court’s front entrance.
Courts will continue to be cleaned to the higher Alert Level 4 standards.
Contact tracing is required to to gain entry to the courts. We encourage everyone to scan the QR Code on entry.
Please make sure you check the places of interest on the Ministry of Health website and follow the instructions. Please follow all the COVID guidelines and keep yourself and others safe.

Remember that physical distancing is even more important because of the possibility of transmission.


South Auckland Managers – Contact List
Please find attached an updated contact list if you wish to get in urgent contact with any of the South Auckland managers