Preliminary

  1. The court generally requires the parties to litigation to engross orders pronounced in court.  Ordinarily the terms of the orders are set out in hand written or amended draft documents provided to the court at the time of making the orders.  

  2. The requirement to engross orders is a requirement to prepare a clean typewritten record (in the format in which court orders are ordinarily issued) of the orders made, suitable for sealing by the court and becoming a part of the written record of the proceedings.

  3. The Federal Circuit Court seeks to maximise the benefits of advances in technology.  To that end, the court is adopting processes to ensure that the entire text of each order made by the court can be accessed on the Commonwealth Courts Portal.  As a result the engrossed orders need to be available electronically.

  4. This notice to practitioners addresses the practical requirements upon practitioners when directed to engross orders made in court.

The purpose of engrossing orders

  1. The purpose of engrossing orders is to ensure that there is a clean and accurate typewritten record of the orders made by the court, in a form that can be utilised by the parties and which will be accessible through the Commonwealth Courts Portal at www.comcourts.gov.au

  2. The parties to proceedings will ordinarily require copies of engrossed court orders for their own reference and to provide to their legal advisors, other courts (such as state Magistrates Courts when exercising family violence jurisdiction), other agencies (such as the Department of Human Services), health care providers, schools, accounting advisors, and financiers.

  3. It is intended that the court’s National Enquiry Centre will be able to view the entire text of each family law order made by the court.  As the text of orders will be available on the Commonwealth Courts Portal, litigants will also be able to access orders electronically in order to provide copies to other agencies, such the Department of Human Services, courts dealing with domestic violence, and the police when appropriate to do so.  The efficiencies that will be generated by these arrangements are obvious.

  4. If a party requires a certified copy of a court order the court must hold an engrossed typewritten version of the order suitable for certification.

Requirements for engrossing orders

  1. In order to comply with a direction to engross the orders of the court: 

    1. The engrossed orders must be a true and correct copy of the orders actually made.

    2. The engrossed orders must be typewritten.  The typewriting must be in Times New Roman font at 12 points, in numbered paragraphs that are double line spaced.  The page size must be defined as A4.

    3. The email must contain a certification by the solicitor that ‘the attachment is a true and correct copy of the orders made by the court on _____________ day of ____________ 20__, as [signed by the parties/signed by the legal advisors for the parties/initialled by the Judge] and placed upon the court file.’

    4. The engrossed orders must be forwarded by email in .rtf (Rich Text Format) or .doc (Word for Windows format) to the chambers of the Judge who made the orders at Associate.Judge[Surname of Judge]@federalcircuitcourt.gov.au, with the file number and name of the matter included in the subject of the email.  Orders made in Dandenong should be forwarded to the Chambers Assist Team at dandenong.orders@federalcircuitcourt.gov.au.

    5. The engrossed orders must be emailed to the relevant Associate (or in the case of Dandenong the Chambers Assist Team) within 7 days

  2. In the absence of an order nominating which party’s legal practitioner must engross orders, the solicitor for the applicant is required to engross the orders.  In the event that the applicant is not legally represented, the first solicitor for a party to the proceedings (determined in the order in which the parties are listed in the title of the proceedings) is required to engross the orders.

Orders in Chambers

  1. When practitioners ask the court to make orders in chambers (either by consent or on an ex parte basis), they must email to the relevant Judge’s associate a typed copy of the minute of proposed consent orders.

NOTICE TO PRACTITIONERS

General

  1. This notice can be found on the Court’s website: www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au.

  2. Parties and practitioners are reminded that ordinarily it is not appropriate to communicate with a Judge’s chambers directly, and that any email sent to the associate of a Judge pursuant to this practice direction must also be copied to each other party in the proceedings.

John Pascoe
Chief Judge