the aim of the federal circuit court is to efficiently dispose of cases in the fastest possible time
The aim of the Federal Circuit Court is to efficiently dispose of cases in the fastest possible time and at the least cost to the parties. Federal Circuit Courts strive to limit family law case hearing to two days but if it takes longer or if the case is complex, the case may be sent to the Family Court. However, there are instance when the court will keep long cases because
- The case is more complicated than the court first thought it would be; or
- It is in the interest of justice for the court to continue hearing the case.
The Federal Circuit Court has its own Rules of Court that governs court procedures. . The Federal Circuit Court maintains a docket system from the first court date of a case to the final hearing. Proceedings are initiated upon application of a party. Affidavits are attached to the application after which the first court date will be set. During the first day (also called return date or first return date) the Court may:
- Order the parties to undergo family dispute resolution;
- Instruct the parties on what they need to do prior to the next court date;
- Set a date for the next or final hearing;
- Conduct an interim hearing;
- Issue interim orders; or
- Make a final decision.
There are certain pre-action requirements before the court will entertain an application. For parenting orders, parties must first undergo a family dispute resolution provided that the case does not fall under any of the exceptions. Parties applying for property settlements must go through a conciliation conference first before the court will set a date for hearing.
For urgent matters, an interim hearing may be conducted even on the first day in court and interim orders may then be issued. The subject matter of interim orders cannot await the final decision of the court such as arrangements for the children or protection from family violence.
The final hearing is the stage wherein all the parties will present their evidence in court. Usually on the first court date, the court will set the date for the final hearing.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.