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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 a guilty plea or not guilty plea form online, or have received details regarding your 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). It is also possible to find your hearing date using your name.

Webex hearings

Pursuant to the Chief Magistrates' direction in Practice Direction No. 6 of 2022 some criminal matters are being heard online.

The Magistrates’ Court uses the Webex platform for online hearings. To appear online, 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.
If you appear for court online it is your responsibility to ensure that:

  • you have the correct link and necessary audio and visual technology to participate
  • you can link in from a suitable private location
  • you can link in at your allocated time
  • you remain with your camera and microphone off until the matter is called for hearing.*

*A failure to comply with the above may result in a requirement to attend court at short notice.

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 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. 

Go to 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.

Go to the online not guilty plea form.

 

I plan to represent myself and want to change my court date

If you can’t attend court on the day of your hearing, you may be able to postpone. This is called an adjournment. 

You must apply for an adjournment at the court where your matter is being heard and outline the reasons why. This should be done at the earliest opportunity or at least three working days before the hearing date. 

If the court adjourns your matter, you will receive a new hearing date. 

To contact a court, visit the find a court page.

Go to the request for adjournment form.

What happens if I do nothing?

If you do not arrange an adjournment or an online hearing, you are required to attend court where your matter is listed on your listed date. 

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

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

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

 

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 must contact us at least seven days before the court hearing to help us prepare your case for court. You can do this by completing one of the online forms below.

If you do not contact us before the hearing day, the court may hear and determine your matter in your absence.

From 21 March 2022, if you are the affected family member (the person applying for, or to be protected by the order) there are different ways that you can take part in the court hearing – online or in person.

Please use the pre-court information form to tell us how you want to take part in the court hearing. The court will prioritise your preference where safe and practical to do so.

If you are the affected family member and the police have applied for the intervention order and you agree with the order and conditions, you can choose not to take part in the court hearing if you are contactable by police on the day of the court hearing. If you do not agree with the order you should appear at the court hearing. Please use the pre-court information form to tell us how you want to take part in the court hearing – online or in person. The court will prioritise your preference where safe and practical to do so.

 

From 21 March 2022, if you are the (the person the order is against) you must take part in the court hearing in person (go to court).

Please complete the pre-court information form at least seven days before the court hearing.  

If you do not go to court for the court hearing, the magistrate can still make a final intervention order against you.

CLICK HERE for the online pre-court information form if you are an  or affected family member in a family violence intervention order (FVIO) matter.

CLICK HERE for the online pre-court information form if you are the respondent in a  (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 seven 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. 

Go to the PDF form in relation to a (PSIO) matter.

 

 

Last updated on 28 Sep 2022
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