Law firms registered with the Commonwealth Courts Portal will be able to electronically file supplementary documents in family law matters from Monday 18 August. 

eFiling marks the beginning of a series of enhancements in e-Court services delivered via the Commonwealth Courts Portal which is an initiative of the Family Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.

“Lawyers with family law matters in the Family Court, the Federal Magistrates Court or the Family Court of Western Australia will be able to file supplementary documents securely and easily as part of Phase One of eFiling,” Richard Foster, Chief Executive Officer of the Family Court, said.

“Supplementary documents which can be electronically filed in the Family Court include affidavits, financial statements, service documents, notice to admit facts, undertaking as to disclosure and case management documents such as summaries of argument, outline of case documents, lists of documents etc.

“Facilities to accept documents which require follow up action by court staff after lodgement or attract a fee will become available in 2009,” Mr Foster said.

Mr John Mathieson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Magistrates Court said that eFiling will benefit legal practitioners by enabling them to file supplementary documents with the Court without having to leave their office.

“Documents which can be electronically filed in the Family Law Courts include a response to divorce, affidavit of service (of any description), financial statement, affidavit, superannuation information form and outline of case document if directions have been given for it to be filed,” Mr Mathieson said.

Phase One of eFiling excludes all electronic lodgements by self represented litigants, including material prepared by the litigant to be lodged using their lawyer’s registered portal account, until 2009 when this service will become available.

Mr Mathieson stated that “eFiling is a significant achievement building on the potential of the Commonwealth Courts Portal.”  Mr Foster also noted that “while it is not compulsory, we believe that the convenience of eFiling will convince lawyers to use it more and more for family law matters.”