Information for a person requesting the issue of a subpoena

how to file a subpoena in the family courtYou need to complete the form titled Subpoena that is approved by the Family Court of Australia.

Unless a court orders otherwise, a subpoena must not be served on a person under 18 years of age.

In some situations, you will need to prepare a letter to support your request for a subpoena. For example, where there are less than seven days before the court hearing date or where the request is made by a self-represented litigant. For more information about when you need to prepare a supporting letter, speak to registry staff.

A party can request a subpoena to produce documents for the hearing of any application seeking interim, procedural, ancillary or other incidental orders. A subpoena for the hearing or trial of an application seeking final orders or in an appeal will not be issued unless a judge or registrar gives permission.

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SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS: TACKLING THE CHALLENGE

Deputy-Chief-Justice-Faulks

Deputy Chief Justice Faulks

1. Most judges tend to couple the word self-represented litigant (SRL) with an
expletive. It is customary to regard them as difficult, time-consuming, unreasonable, and ignorant of processes of the law.*

2. Some twelve years ago I wrote a paper in which I proposed that courts should
regard self-representation by litigants as a challenge rather than as a problem. In
revisiting the subject over a decade later, I find that my views about the matter
have not changed substantially. There have been some developments in all
courts in relation to SRLs but the challenge remains.

3. It has been said there are three things that can be done in relation to self-representation by litigants: one is to get them lawyers, the second is to make
them lawyers and the third is to change the system.

Self-representation has reached a level in many courts where it is common for at least one of the parties to be unrepresented for one half of the time. This means that courts are no longer dealing with a minority aberration but are being obliged to contend with change which may require altering the way in which courts operate.

If it becomes the norm for many litigants to be self-represented, the justification for retaining existing court procedures based on parties’ being legally represented may no longer be valid.

4. This paper explores how each of the three suggestions could assist SRLs’ interaction with the court system and improve the conduct of litigation where an SRL is involved. This paper does not purport to provide the answers. It is acknowledged that the challenges presented by SRLs have existed for some time and solutions have been difficult to find. His Honour, Justice Geoffrey Davies (as he then was) said:

I believe that the question of how to cope with [the plight of the unrepresented litigant] is the greatest single challenge for the civil justice system at the present time.

… Cases in which one or more of the litigants is self-represented generally take much longer both in preparation and court time and require considerable patience and interpersonal skills from registry staff and judges.

5. What this paper aims to do is generate ideas and discussion about possible ways to improve the situation.

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A guide to REPRESENTING YOURSELF in the FAMILY COURT of Western Australia – Children’s Cases

representing-yourself-in-family-court-children-mattersMany people are unable to afford a lawyer to help them to resolve family disputes.

They can be at a disadvantage because the law is complicated and court
processes are sometimes difficult to understand.

This booklet is designed to help those people who do not have a lawyer to
present their cases in the Family Court of Western Australia. It is not a substitute
for competent legal advice, but it is hoped the information provided will make it
easier for you to navigate through the court system.

Judges and Magistrates must always remain impartial and not appear to help one side of a dispute to the disadvantage of the other. Whilst the Judge or Magistrate can provide some (very limited) assistance, it is expected that each party who does not have a lawyer will have tried their best to become familiar with this booklet before coming to Court.

The Court has received much positive feedback about earlier editions of the
booklet. We would appreciate hearing from you about any way you feel that future editions might be improved.

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A guide to REPRESENTING YOURSELF in the FAMILY COURT of Western Australia – Property Cases

represent-yourself-in-property-mattersMany people are unable to afford a lawyer to help them to resolve family disputes.

They can be at a disadvantage because the law is complicated and court processes are sometimes difficult to understand.

This booklet is designed to help those people who do not have a lawyer to present their cases in the Family Court of Western Australia. It is not a substitute for competent legal advice, but it is hoped the information provided will make it easier for you to navigate through the court system.

Judges and Magistrates must always remain impartial and not appear to help one side of a dispute to the disadvantage of the other. Whilst the Judge or Magistrate can provide some (very limited) assistance, it is expected that each party who does not have a lawyer will have tried their best to become familiar with this booklet before coming to Court.

The Court has received much positive feedback about earlier editions of the
booklet. We would appreciate hearing from you about any way you feel that
future editions might be improved.

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Everything you need to know about a family report

family-reportWhat is a family report and how is it used?

A family report provides information about your child, you
and your family. An independent children’s lawyer (if one has
been appointed), the Family Court of Australia or the Federal
Circuit Court may organise this report during family
law proceedings.

A family report may include recommendations to the
court about:

• your parental responsibilities
• where your child will live and who they will live with
• who your child will spend time with and who they will
speak to
• other information for the court to consider in making
decisions about parenting arrangements for your child.

A family report is one of many documents the court will consider
when making decisions about your child’s best interests.

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