In a recent statement on the District Court website: http://www.districtcourt.wa.gov.au/E/elodgment.aspx?uid=3252-0200-9461-0374 the District Court of Western Australia has stated that since the date of 4 July 2016 the District Court has commenced using eLodgment, and has moved towards electronic files. The District Court, together with the Supreme Court of Western Australia, will be moving to the next stage in the process, which involves making it compulsory from 1 March 2018 for legal practitioners to use the eLodgement system to file documents in the civil jurisdiction of the District Court.
At this stage the District Court will not make it compulsory for self-represented litigants to file documents by eLodgement.
There will be a limited number of exceptions to compulsory eLodgement, and the Court is currently amending its Rules to permit the exceptions.
The court says that all lawyers are encouraged to register for eLodgement , and so access the benefits of eLodgment.
Problems with E-lodgment
Foyle Legal has noticed problems with the eLodgement system and on several occasions has had to attend the District Court in person in order for these to be resolved. The problems include:
1. When lodging an application for an appeal the party so appealing is required to choose a hearing date. On several occasions now there have been no dates available. A message appears asking the person lodging the appeal to contact the District Court. When this is done the District Court is unable to list more dates;
2. In a situation where the court has already set a date for a hearing the process is very inflexible. For example a lawyer attends court on 1 February 2018 and is advised they need to lodge an application which is to be heard one week after. The lawyer lodges an application but the only option available is to list a hearing after 20 March 2018;
3. Problems with interrogatories – The Applicant is not able to file a PDF and it is necessary to file a word document. This is ordinarily not possible as interrogatories are a sworn document.
These are problems that usually need to be solved at short notice and at present it would be difficult to solve the problem in another way other than attending at the court registry. Our view is therefore that this step should be delayed until such time as these very important functions can be properly fixed. To not enable this could well result in a miscarriage of justice due to the functions of the court not being available to the lawyers who represent the public.
The District Court of Western Australia has an unlimited jurisdiction in respect of personal injury matters and as such personal injury actions are ordinarily brought there. The most common personal injury claims bought in the District Court are probably motor vehicle accident injury claims.
Foyle Legal are a personal injury law firm that specialises in the area of motor vehicle accident injury claims, public liability claims, workers compensation claims and other personal injury claims. If you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, work injury, public liability injury or other injury Foyle Legal can provide you with legal representation on a no win no fee basis if you have made a claim.
For more information, Please contact us.
6/2 Carson Road
Malaga, Perth, WA 6090
Phone: 0408 727 343
Email: [email protected]