March 30, 2020
Chief Magistrate Terry Gardiner has issued new practice directions which will affect the operation of South Burnett Magistrates Courts during the COVID-19 crisis.
From March 30, a magistrate will continue to preside at Kingaroy Courthouse but not in Murgon, Cherbourg or Nanango.
There will also be no physical appearances in any matter except:
(a) By an aggrieved in an urgent non-police, private domestic violence application,
(b) The media,
(c) With leave of the Court.
All matters will be conducted by telephone or video conference including appearances by persons in custody.
All documents to be relied upon in a matter are to be emailed to the court.
The sitting court will hear:
(a) Overnight custody arrests – both adults and children
(b) Urgent domestic violence applications, including applications to vary domestic violence orders
(c) Urgent child protection applications, including applications to vary existing child protection orders
(d) Bail applications, including applications to vary bail
(e) Domestic violence applications currently before the court which have not been considered
(f) Sentences, including lengthy sentences, where a person is likely to be released from custody
(g) Where a defendant is in custody – committal and summary mentions
(h) Urgent regional Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) matters heard in the Magistrates Court.
(i) Applications under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000
(j) Civil applications dealt with on the papers
(k) Other matters where leave is given by a Magistrate
Circuit courts will be conducted by video or telephone link from the home court.
All matters, civil and criminal, currently before the Court (excluding the matters listed earlier) will be adjourned, without appearance, to a date to be fixed by the magistrate.
Notice of the adjournment date will be posted or emailed to the parties and their legal practitioners.
Bail will be enlarged in the absence of the defendant in criminal matters.
Temporary orders in force in domestic violence applications will continue for the period of the adjournment, unless varied by the court.
All criminal matters where a defendant is on a Notice to Appear or bail will be adjourned to a date not less than two months from the first appearance. No attendance is required by the defendant.
Where a defendant has signed an undertaking, bail will be extended in the absence of the defendant. A Notice of Adjournment with the new date will be posted or sent by email to the parties and their legal representative.
The court will continue to accept applications to hear matters where delay would cause substantial prejudice to a party.