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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

All courts remain open and are hearing most matters online.

If you planned to attend court in person you should contact the court where the matter is listed.

Contacting the court

Legal practitioners must communicate with the court via EFAS only.

If you do not have a lawyer and you need to contact the court, please contact the court at which your case is listed by email. If you received a text message or email from the Magistrates’ Court, the court at which your case is listed and your case number will be included.
Please include this case number in your correspondence.
Court email addresses can be found on court location pages.

Alternatively you can submit an online form if you are pleading guilty or if you are pleading not guiltyIf you have already submitted an online guilty or not guilty 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.

Please be aware the court is experiencing a high number of enquiries and will respond to you as soon as possible.

All persons who attend court venues in-person must:

  • wear a mask for the entire time they are in the building
  • comply with social distancing
  • follow the Chief Health Officer’s directions, including the mandatory use of QR codes for entrance into all court buildings
  • follow any direction under the Court Security Act 1980.

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). Refer to instructions on how to find your hearing date on EFAS, also possible without knowing your case number.

Webex hearings in the Online Magistrates' Court

Your matter may be listed as an online hearing. Any Magistrates' Court case may be heard online by order or direction of the Magistrates' Court. An online hearing may also be scheduled at the request of the parties if approved by the Magistrates' Court.

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.

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 help 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.

A range of court lists are remaining online. The court will contact you regarding your hearing if it is to be heard online. 

CLICK HERE for the online guilty plea form.

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.

A range of court lists are remaining online. The court will contact you regarding your hearing if it is to be heard online.

CLICK HERE for the online not guilty plea form.

 

What happens if I do nothing?

If you do not arrange an online hearing, you are required to attend court where your matter is listed on your listed date. Due to density requirements, if you attend court with other persons they may not be granted entry.

If you do not attend, a may decide to deal with your matter in your absence, or a for your arrest may be issued.

 
I am on the CISP program
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.

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.

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

No. You do not need to attend court to see your case manager unless you have been asked to do so by the court. You should keep in regular contact with your case manager by telephone or email.

How can I contact 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? 

Drug Court participants must attend in person for every court review and hearing unless directed otherwise by the court.

It is also important to remember that drug testing continues and case management, treatment, supervision and counselling provided in person or, in discussions with your Drug Court team, by telephone or remotely via Webex/Zoom. 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.

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 one of the online forms below. 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 the online form if you are an or affected family member in a  (FVIO) matter.

CLICK HERE for the online form if you are the in a family violence intervention order (FVIO) matter.

Or CLICK HERE for the form in PDF format.

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.

I have a 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. 

Contact the court by completing a notice of address form. 

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

 

 

Last updated on 25 Nov 2021
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