COVID-19 Information

The District Court During Covid-19 Pandemic Response Period

The District Court is doing some things differently to ensure it can deliver essential justice services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic response period.

Changes to processes and procedures may vary depending on the Alert Level, are subject to change and should be checked regularly by court users. The following announcements, advice and guidance is designed to assist the public; court participants, jurors and professionals; justice service agencies; and the media.

District Court Protocols Under Alert Level 2
Protocols for Alert Level 2 for all divisions of the District Court during Alert Level 3. Includes District Court civil jurisdiction, criminal jurisdiction, Family Court, Youth Court and Accident Compensation Appeals.

Date issued: 13 May 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court and ACC

District Court Protocols Under Alert Level 3
Protocols for Alert Level 3 for all divisions of the District Court during Alert Level 3. Includes District Court civil jurisdiction, criminal jurisdiction, Family Court, Youth Court and Accident Compensation Appeals.

Date issued: 23 April 2020
Last amended: 29 April 2020 — minor amendment to para 45, Youth Court Protocol, Young People in Oranga Tamariki Custody, by inserting the note "This will also include people held in a Department of Corrections Facility."

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court and ACC

Practice Note: District Court Practice Note 
Practice note issued by the Chief District Court Judge on 22 May 2020.  Appeals by a business or undertaking against order under s 11 of the COVID-19 Public Response Act 2020 to close or cease operations ...

Date issued: 22 May 2020

Categories: District Court

Practice Note: Civil proceedings — COVID-19 preparedness
Practice note coming into effect 23 April 2020 re  ... guidance as to the manner in which practitioners, parties, and other participants in the District Court can expect judges to use their power under s 24 to modify the applicable District Court Rules 2014 while the epidemic notice is in force ...

Date issued: 23 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Civil)

For Legal Practitioners and Youth Court Advocates

 

For Media and Court Participants/Media releases

 

FAQs for Youth Court Professionals on COVID-19 Alert Level 2
Frequently Asked Questions for Youth Court professionals on the Ministry of Justice website.

Date issued: 14 May 2020

Categories: Youth Court

 

13 May — New Protocol for the District Court at Alert Level 2

Statement by the Chief District Court Judge regarding the  new protocol to guide New Zealand’s biggest court as it continues to deliver an essential service during Alert Level 2 of the pandemic response.

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court and ACC

Date issued: 13 May 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court and ACC

FAQs for Youth Court Professionals on COVID-19 Alert Level 3
Frequently Asked Questions for Youth Court professionals on the Ministry of Justice website.

Date issued: 5 May 2020

Categories: Youth Court

 

Revised practice notes and protocols to be published for COVID-19 alert level 2
Media statement from the Chief Justice of New Zealand re revised practice notes and protocols in the event the Government announces an immediate or phased step-down to COVID-19 Alert Level 2....

Date issued: 8 May 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court and Youth Court

Date issued: 8 May 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court and Youth Court

Guidelines for Practitioners during period of Epidemic Notice
Regarding unsworn affidavits, Electronic Filing/Remote hearings and Electronic Service.

Date issued: 16 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

 

Extra measures to observe COVID-19 Alert Level 3
Media statement from the Chief District Court Judge  regarding extra steps in relation to the safety of court participants and observance of COVID-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions when the court reopens to the public on Tuesday 28 April.

Date issued: 27 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court and ACC

Letter to Youth Advocates 3 April 2020

Letter from Principal Youth Court Judge, Judge John Walker re Closure of Courts and Whanau/support persons in the Youth Court. Includes a map of the process which has been developed allowing primarily for remote attendance of whanau/caregivers but which allows for actual attendance where technology is not available.

Date issued: 3 April 2020

Categories: Youth Court

 

The District Court under COVID-19 Alert Level 3
Media statement from the Chief District Court Judge explaining how District Courts will operate under Alert Level 3.

Date issued: 24 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court and ACC

Communication to the Profession — Update 1 April
Confirming that all defendants who are in custody will appear before a Judge for all scheduled appearances during the Alert Level 4 period. Including priority proceedings, PPE, AVL and Virtual Meeting Rooms.

Date issued: 1 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

 

COVID 19 — Guide for Media
Guide for media reporting the courts under COVID 19 alert levels

Date issued: 17 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

Letter to the Profession — Re Update Regarding Proceedings in the District Court During Alert Level 4
Letter to the profession regarding defendants who are in custody and scheduled to appear in the District Court. Includes VMR, priority proceedings and PPE.

Date issued: 1 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

 

Chief Justice: Update on operation of the courts under COVID-19 alert levels
Summary of changes to the operation of the courts entering the third week of COVID-19 alert level 4 and looks ahead to how the courts will operate in the short and medium term under alert restrictions, noting: 
Extension of suspension of jury trials until Friday 31 July 2020; Increased capacity for virtual hearings and remote participation; Registries remain open for electronic or postal filing of all court documents; and Focus on resumption of judge alone trials as soon as possible.

Date issued: 8 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

Chief Justice's letter to the profession — limiting access to courthouses
Letter from the Chief Justice regarding limitations on members of the public entering courthouses during COVID-19 alert level 4

Date issued: 26 March 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court

 

1 April 2020 UPDATE — District Court Sittings During the Alert 4 Period
Statement from the Chief District Court Judge, Judge Heemi Taumaunu: UPDATE —District Court Sittings During the Alert 4 Period

Date issued: 1 April 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

Communication to the Profession re 24 March 2020

Proceedings determined by the Chief District Court Judge to take priority in the District Court.

Date issued: 23 March 2020.
Updated: 24 March 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

 

Public access to courts tightened for safety reasons
Statement: Media Statement by the Chief Justice of New Zealand, regarding exclusion from courthouses members of the public whose attendance is not required for the business of the court that day under Alert Level 4.

Date issued: 26 March 2020

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

Letter to Youth Advocates — 23 March 2020
Letter from Principal Youth Court Judge, Judge John Walker re the use of AVL for those in Custody and reducing appearances generally.

Date issued: 23 March 2020

Categories: Youth Court

 

District Court Sittings During the Alert Level 4 Period
Statement from the Chief District Court Judge including priority proceedings, availability of Judges and how to file documents.

Date issued: 25 March 2020 

Categories: District Court (Criminal, Civil), Family Court, Youth Court

Suspension of Jury Trials` District Court Interim Response — Thursday 19 March 2020
Communication regarding decision taken to cancel all jury trials currently listed to be heard over the next two months.

Date issued: 19 March 2020

Categories: District Court - Criminal

 

Children In Shared Care — And Covid-19
Statement from the Principal Family Court Judge, Judge Jacquelyn Moran:
Clarification regarding the care arrangements of children subject to Family Court orders

Date issued: 24 March 2020

Categories: Family Court

 

 

 

   

See also:

Ministry of Justice: Covid-19 Information
Courts of New Zealand