New Zealand Law Society - Priority set for District Court proceedings

Priority set for District Court proceedings

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Chief District Court Judge Heemi Taumaunu has determined which proceedings take priority in the District Court. This applies from 24 March 2020.

The following applies:

Criminal when the defendant is in custody: Public order offenders; Bail applications (including breaches); Sentencing those already in custody; Deportation warrants; CP(MIP); Breach of PSOs.

Youth: Arrests (first appearances); Secure care applications, Bail applications; Review of custody, CP (MIP), Early release hearing (see separate letter from Principal Youth Court Judge Walker.)

Family: Public Health Order applications; Without notice applications: Care and protection (s 67 and s 78 immediate uplift); Protection and related Orders (Family Violence Act); Care of Children applications (family violence related); Mental Health (applications for compulsory treatment orders); Other without notice applications: PPPR, PRA, Hague Convention; Substance Addiction (Compulsory Treatment); s 67 Care and Protection.

Civil: Injunctions, Harassment orders; Harmful digital communications; Tenancy Tribunal appeals against evictions.

Unless a case is in this category, the matter will be administratively adjourned to the next available date except in the case of Youth Court which will be adjourned on the papers for four weeks.


If AVL facilities are not available, the Duty Solicitor (or Duty Youth Advocate or Assigned Youth Advocate in Youth Court) must attend in person. If facilities for the defendant to appear by AVL are not available, the defendant will appear in person.

In the Family Court, counsel are to appear by telephone or AVL, and if facilities are not available, in person.

In Civil cases, counsel can appear by telephone