Adjourned Magistrates' Court matters to resume online
Magistrates’ Court matters adjourned earlier this year due to coronavirus will start to be heard online from Monday, 9 November.
Anyone with a matter due to be heard at a Magistrates’ Court should not attend court in person but must go to the MCV website where they can fill in a form to arrange an online hearing.
The court is sending text messages and/or letters to court users with those instructions.
Once at the website, they must fill in an online form that provides information for the court on how their matter will proceed. This includes whether they are represented or wish to be represented, whether they want to plead guilty or not guilty, whether they wish to appear at their online hearing or whether they want the matter to be finalised in their absence.
Once this is received, the matter will be scheduled for an OMC hearing or finalised on the papers by a judicial officer.
OMC hearings occur using the WebEx platform and parties can appear before the judicial officer from a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
The Chief Magistrate, Judge Lisa Hannan, said the coronavirus pandemic meant courts had to find innovative ways to ensure Victorians could continue to access justice.
“Justice has not changed – it is just the mode of delivery that is different,” she said.
“Social distancing will be with us for some time and it is still not possible for people to gather in our court buildings.
“The health and safety of our judicial officers, staff and court users remains our highest priority, and online hearings provide us with a safe way to ensure we can finalise matters in a timely manner.
“The Online Magistrates’ Court will be critical in assisting us to address the backlog of matters that have been adjourned due to coronavirus. As we move towards recovery, we need to ensure we can provide the maximum number of hearings possible for the people of Victoria.”
Anyone with a pending court matter should go to the homepage for further information on their matter in regional or metro Victoria.