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I received a text message, email or have an upcoming hearing

Next steps on your situation and how your matter will proceed

If you have already submitted an online guilty form or an online not guilty plea form, or have received details regarding a Webex hearing, no further action is required of you at this stage. The court will contact you regarding next steps.

Unsure of your hearing date or case number?

If you received a text message or email from the Magistrates’ Court, your case number will be included. You can use this case number to find your hearing date using our online court lists (EFAS). Click here for instructions on how to find your hearing date on EFAS, also possible without knowing your case number.
 

Criminal matters

I have a lawyer

I have a lawyer

You must contact your lawyer immediately to discuss how your matter will proceed.

 

I do not have a lawyer and I need help preparing for court

I do not have a lawyer and I need help preparing for court

It is a good idea to get legal assistance as soon as you can to help you prepare.

You might be eligible for free legal representation, free legal advice or written information to help you prepare your case. This will depend on your financial situation and the type of case you have. You can contact Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) to obtain free legal assistance by:

You may also visit the following websites to obtain legal advice, however they will not be free:

Visit the legal help page for more information.

If you don’t engage a lawyer to act on your behalf, you are required to take immediate action. 
Click on the line below that best describes your situation and how you want your matter to proceed. You will be directed to contact the court via an online form. Submit the form no later than three business days before the hearing date.

 

 

 I am representing myself

I plan to represent myself and plead guilty

You should seek legal advice before deciding to plead guilty. It is recommended that you get legal help.

You need to contact the court by completing and submitting the online guilty plea form as soon as possible but no later than three business days before the hearing date to advise of your intention to plead guilty.

The court will then contact you confirming the date and time for the matter to be heard. This will most likely be dealt with via Webex.

CLICK HERE to access the online guilty plea formThe court will then be in contact with you to advise you of how to participate in your hearing.

I plan to represent myself and plead not guilty

Before deciding to plead not guilty, it is recommended that you get legal help.

If you decide to plead not guilty: 

  • let the informant or know. You can find their contact details on the charge sheet or letter they sent you
  • complete the online not guilty plea form below no later than three business days before the hearing date.

We will let you know what day and time your hearing will be held. Your hearing most likely will be held via Webex.

CLICK HERE to access the online not guilty plea formThe court will then be in contact with you to advise you of how to participate in your hearing.

 

What happens if I do nothing?

If your matter is listed on or after 3 May 2021 and you do not submit one of the above forms, you must attend the court where your matter is listed on hearing date. Your matter may then be adjourned for you to appear online via Webex.

If you do not contact the court or attend the court, a may hear and determine your matter in your absence, or a for your arrest may be issued.

 

I am on the CISP program

I am on the CISP program – do I still need to participate?

Yes. It is important you keep in contact with your case manager by telephone or email.

Can I still be referred to CISP for support?

Yes. CISP is open to referrals for in and on bail assessments.

What services are CISP providing?

CISP is providing assessment and case management services face to face or via telephone. Community service providers are also providing support to CISP clients either face to face or via telephone as part of their "COVID Normal" operations.

Although providers are moving to more in person services, there may still be some limitations for some services.

Do I need to attend court to see my case manager?

You can contact your case manager via your local courthouse. Contact details can be found here.

 

I have a matter in the Drug Court, Assessment and Referral Court or Koori Court

I am a participant in the Assessment and Referral Court – do I still need to attend? 

The court will determine how hearings are conducted which may be via Webex, telephone or require you to attend in person.

You should contact your lawyer immediately to discuss how your matter is proceeding. It is also important to keep in contact with your case manager by telephone or email.

I am a participant in the Drug Court – do I still need to attend? 

The court will determine how hearings are conducted which may be via Webex, telephone or require you to attend in person.

It is also important to remember that drug testing continues with case management, supervision and drug counselling provided by telephone, Webex/Zoom or in person. You must keep in regular contact with your case manager by telephone or email.

What is happening with Koori Court? 

Koori Court hearings will be conducted in accordance with Koori Court Safe Online Operating Guidelines.

All accused must be physically present and able to participate in the hearing unless stipulated by an order of the court. The magistrate will also be present in person.

Koori Court Elders and Respected Persons will attend the hearing from a suitable location as arranged prior to the hearing until such time they can safely return to our court buildings.

Can I still get support from the Koori Court Officers?  

Yes. Our Koori Court Officers (KCOs) are continuing to provide support to both Koori Court accused and all accused persons who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

You can contact your KCO via your local courthouse. Contact details can be found here.

I have a matter listed in the Koori Court. What do I need to do?

You must contact your lawyer immediately to discuss how your matter will proceed.

Keeping in contact with Koori Court
Remember to tell your lawyer and Koori Court Officer (KCO) if your phone or contact details change. You can contact your KCO via your local courthouse. Contact details can be found here.

I have some suggestions or concerns about the resumption of the Koori Court. Who can I talk to?

Please contact the Koori Court via your local courthouse. Contact details can be found here.

 

Other matters

I have a civil matter

I have a civil matter

You must contact your lawyer immediately to discuss how your matter will proceed.

 

I have a family violence or personal safety matter

I have a family violence or personal safety matter

If you have an upcoming court date you need to contact the court about your matter at least three business days before your court hearing. You can do this by completing the notice of address form. If you are unable to complete the form you can email or call your local court.

The court will use the information you provide to determine how your matter will proceed. The court will be hearing most matters via the Online Magistrates’ Court.

If you do not contact the court, the court may finalise the matter in your absence. 
Click here for further information about your type of matter.

Contact the court by completing a notice of address form. 

CLICK HERE for the form in relation to a  (FVIO) matter.

CLICK HERE for the form in relation to a (PSIO) matter.

I feel like I'm at risk from family violence

Call 000 if you are in immediate danger.

If there is no immediate danger, the court can provide support and advice over the phone and connect you with support services.

Will legal advice still be available?

Yes.

You are encouraged to get legal advice before your court hearing date. Victoria Legal Aid, Community Legal Centres, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and Djirra Legal Services may be able to provide some free legal advice, or you can contact a private lawyer in your area.

The court can also refer court users to Victoria Legal Aid and/or Community Legal Centres for free legal advice if requested on the notice of address form or by email or phone.

How can I apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order?

You can apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) online. Once the court receives your application, the family violence will call you to explain the next steps.

If it is not safe for you to complete your application online, call the court to discuss your options.

How can I vary, extend or revoke a FVIO?

You can access forms to vary, extend or revoke a family violence intervention order on our website.

If you cannot complete the form electronically, you can call the court to discuss your options.

If your application is urgent and you feel unsafe, you can call 000 and police can make the application for you.

If my matter is being heard in-person at my local court, can I bring a support person or my children?

The court is operating in a COVID-safe way, which includes minimising the number of people that are physically at court.

If you must attend your local court for your hearing and would like to bring a support person, please call the court to discuss the matter.

Most matters can be heard in the Online Magistrates’ Court or on the papers, which means you can participate in your hearing via phone, laptop or tablet. You will need an email address to participate in the online court.

How can urgent requests be made?

Call 000 if you are in immediate danger.    

You can make your application online, or you can apply for an FVIO at your local court if that is the safest option. The court will give priority to urgent, high risk family violence matters.

If you have a family violence or personal safety intervention order, and your circumstances have changed since the last hearing, please contact the court to discuss your options.

Can Victoria Police still make FVIO applications?

Yes. FVIO applications made by Victoria Police will still be heard by the court.

Am I able to speak with a family violence practitioner?

Yes. The court will still make referrals to family violence practitioners. The practitioner may call you once they have received the referral.

Are contested hearings going ahead?

Contested matters will be given a hearing date with high risk matters prioritised. Wherever possible, contested matters will be heard in the Online Magistrates’ Court.

Will the still need to attend the court-mandated counselling order program?

Yes. But changes have been made to the program due to restrictions. Call your service provider or practitioner for information about changes to your program.

How do I find out when my hearing is going ahead?

Contact your nearest court by phone or email.

What does it mean if a case is adjourned?

If a case is adjourned, it means it will be heard by a magistrate at a later date.

Interim family violence orders will remain in place to protect affected family members until a final order is made.

The court will recommence hearing adjourned matters. You need to contact the court by filing the notice of address form, or via email or phone. The court will use the information in this form to contact you with a new hearing date.

If you do not contact the court, the court may finalise the matter in your absence.

Will I still have access to interpreter services?

Yes. The court can arrange interpreters. Interpreters will be available by phone and video. For information on interpreter and other accessibility services, visit the interpreters page.


Webex hearings in the Online Magistrates' Court

Due to the ongoing coronavirus social distancing requirements, most criminal matters are being heard online.

The Magistrates’ Court uses the Webex platform for online hearings. To appear, you need a valid email address and access to the internet. The court will provide you with a link via email. You do not need to download an app. You can appear using a computer, laptop, tablet or a mobile phone. Refer to the Webex user guide for more information.

If you have a lawyer, you should contact your lawyer who will explain what will happen on your court date.

Last updated on 13 Apr 2021
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