Children's Court

​COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The Children's Court is committed to protecting the safety and wellbeing of the community and our staff, which is why we have made significant changes to the way we operate to limit face-to-face contact where possible.

Below is a list of the Presidents public notices and announcements relating to court arrangements in response to COVID-19:

Below is a list of other information relating to court arrangements in response to COVID-19:

Before attending a court in person please read the important information and frequently asked questions below: 



Contacting/coming to court

Should I come to court?

If you are represented by a lawyer you do not need to come to court unless your lawyer tells you that you need to come.

If you do not have a lawyer, you should contact the relevant court registry by phone or email and ask what options may be available for you to participate without having to come to court. 

However, you must not come to court if you have:  

  • travelled and returned from overseas in the past 14 days
  • had contact with a diagnosed, suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days or
  • are feeling unwell

How will I know what happens in court if I don't come to court?

If you have a lawyer, you should speak to them about whether they can make arrangements for you to listen by phone when your case is dealt with.

If you do not have a lawyer, you should contact the relevant court registry by phone or email and ask what options may be available for you to participate without having to come to court. 

If I am told by my lawyer to attend court in person, who can come with me?

You can only bring a maximum of two support people with you.  The judicial officer will need to give permission to allow a support person to go into the courtroom.   

If you are a child or young person, your parents or carers should come with you. 

If you are an adult you are strongly encouraged to come by yourself where possible.

How do I contact the court?

You can email or call the Children's Court. The email address and telephone number for each court location can be found here.

How will the court contact me?

The court will contact you by email or telephone. If you have a lawyer, the court will contact your lawyer first and they will pass on information to you.

If you have a lawyer, it is important they can get in contact with you so make sure you provide your current contact details.

How do I know if the court received my email?

You will receive an automatic email reply from the court to let you know your email has been received.

Court listings

Children's Magistrates will continue to sit at Parramatta, Surry Hills, Campbelltown, Port Kembla, Woy Woy, Broadmeadow and Lismore.

I live in the country, why is my matter being dealt with at another location?

All travel of judicial officers to a Children's Court circuit location is suspended until further notice.

Children's Court circuits will not operate in the usual way but cases listed in these circuits will continue to be dealt with by a Children's Magistrate or the President at another location by video conference.  The following table explains how this will work.  

​Children’s Court circuit
​Location of Children’s Magistrate
​Hunter Children’s Court circuit
​Broadmeadow Children’s Court
​Northern Rivers Children’s Court circuit
​Lismore court house
​Illawarra Children’s Court circuit
​Port Kembla court house
​Riverina Children’s Court circuit
​Parramatta Children’s Court
​Mid-north coast Children’s Court circuit
​Parramatta Children’s Court
​Western Children’s Court care circuit
​Parramatta Children’s Court 


Cases will be dealt with by phone or video conference where possible but if you need to go to court you go to the court where you were due to appear. 

Local Courts that also deal with Children's Court cases will continue to operate as advised by the Chief Magistrate. 

You should contact the court where you are due to appear for further information.   

Is my hearing going ahead?

Subject to information contained below in relation to criminal proceedings, all hearings in the care and crime jurisdiction that were listed up to 1 May 2000 have been vacated.

Vacated cases will be listed for a call over on a date after 1 May 2020 to set a new hearing date. Parties will be notified in writing of the future call over date.

Part heard cases may continue at the discretion of the relevant judicial officer in consultation with the parties.  Part heard cases will only go ahead if arrangements can be put in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the case. 

Relisting matters

Any party that wishes to relist a matter before a judicial officer must email the relevant court registry and include all other parties in the email correspondence.

Types of matters that will be considered for relist include bail variation, release application, variation of court orders, an application for hearing on the papers or further directions that will assist the progress of the matter.

I am lawyer, am I required to appear?

The court is working to put in place processes that will enable you to appear by video conference or telephone. Please contact the relevant court registry for more information.

Arrangements are also being put in place to reduce the need for lawyers to appear.  Lawyers should keep up to date with information issued by the President of the Children's Court.  

Care and Protection jurisdiction

The Children's Court remains open, it is just operating differently. While most hearings will not go ahead directions lists and urgent applications will continue to be dealt with.

Judicial officers are dealing with cases by phone or video conference where possible.

My children have been removed from my care, will the matter still be listed before the court?

Yes.  An application still needs to be lodged with the Children's Court within three working days after the decision to remove a child.   

The application will be listed at Parramatta Children's Court, usually the next working day but no later than three working days after it has been lodged.  

Where can I get legal advice?

You should obtain legal advice as soon as your child is removed from your care. Legal Aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service are providing advice by phone or email.

The Legal Aid Duty Lawyer service will continue to operate, although it will not occur at the court. You may be contacted by a duty lawyer once a new application is filed with the Court.

If you are not contacted by a duty lawyer prior to the court date, then you should call Law Access on 1300 888 529 and they will put you in contact with a lawyer who can help you.

How do I participate in the court matter if I can't come to court?

If you have a lawyer you do not need to come to court unless your lawyer tells you that you need to come. 

If you want to listen to what happens in court when your case is dealt with you should talk to your lawyer.  Arrangements can be made for you to listen to the court proceedings by phone. 

However, you should be available to speak to your lawyer by phone on the day of court in case the lawyer needs to get more information from you.

If you don't have a lawyer you should contact the court registry to ask about options to participate without coming to court.     

Further advice to legal practitioners will be provided to support the attendance of legal practitioners by means other than personal attendance.

Emergency Care Applications

Where an application for an emergency care and protection order (ECPO) is made, or an application for a care order is made where a child has been removed from their parents or responsibility for the care of the child has been removed from the parents, the application will be listed within three business days at the Parramatta Children's Court.

Dispute Resolution Conferences

Dispute Resolution Conferences will continue to be conducted by telephone or video conference. Contact the Children's Court conference coordinator at childrens-court-conference-co-ordinator@justice.nsw.gov.au or by phone 8688 1471 if you have any questions. 

Crime jurisdiction

The police have given me a court attendance notice, do I need to come to court?

If you have a lawyer you do not have to come to court unless your lawyer tells you to. 

If you don't have a lawyer, the case will be adjourned for approximately four weeks to allow you to get legal advice.

Where can I get legal advice?

All defendants should contact either Legal Aid or the Aboriginal Legal Service as soon as you have been issued a court attendance notice by police.

Don't wait until it is close to the court date. 

The lawyer will talk to you about any bail conditions or AVO conditions and can ask the court to change the conditions if necessary before the first court date.   

My child is in custody, what do I do?

If you are the family member of a young person in custody you should contact Youth Justice on 1300 135 330.

My child is in custody, will the case be dealt with?

Bail applications will continue to be dealt within 24 hours after a young person is bail refused by police. 

Cases will continue to be case managed in the usual way and the young person will appear by audio video link.

A judicial officer may hear a defended case where the young person is in custody but only if the young person has a lawyer and appropriate arrangements can be put in place to ensure the safety of all persons involved in the hearing.

Bail

Judicial Officers will be looking at bail conditions on the first date of court. Make sure you talk to your lawyer about whether these conditions are workable.

General queries

How do I file documents with the Children's Court

You can email your documents to the court.

It is important that you email your documents to the Children's Court registry where your case is listed.

The court will accept unsworn or unaffirmed affidavits during this period. This means that if you are unable to arrange for your documents to be witnessed by a lawyer or JP, the court will still accept the document for filing.

If you can't email your documents to the court, you should contact the registry by phone to discuss options.