Australian Family Law Court Dilemma: Trial to proceed into its eighth year due to file mismanagement

Australian Family Law Court Dilemma: Trial to proceed into its eighth year due to file mismanagement
 Medianet Release  

25 May 2021
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 Australian Family Law Court Dilemma: Trial to proceed into its eighth year due to file mismanagement

Parents of two special needs children are preparing for their eighth year in the Australian Family Law Court; A delay caused due to the mismanagement of legal Court documents related to the case in 2013.

Disregard of Evidence in the Australian Family Law Court pushes family dispute into eighth year

The Australian Family Law Court, along with the Federal Circuit Court, have both found themselves under fire regarding the mismanagement of legal files, to which have resulted in a family law case entering it’s eighth year of proceedings.The case which began almost a decade ago, involves the custody arrangements of two special needs children, now aged 11 & 12 years of age and their parents property settlement.

A recent appeal via the children’s father has struck the attention and legal interest of Justice’s Steven Strickland and Stewart Austin, with both stating that the ongoing seven year case was “not the only mischief encountered” during this “gross and deplorable” delay of the case, of which was originally presided over by Federal Circuit Court Judge, Justice Anne Demack in September 2013.

The judges noted that judgement was passed despite vital court files relating to the case having gone missing – resulting in a passing of judgement without the evidence required to make such a call.

Delays unacceptable: Justice Family Lawyers Australia, Hayder Shkara speaks out

“Delays in Court cases such as this are unacceptable”, says Hayder Shkara of Justice Family Lawyers Australia; “There are lots of examples of the Court mismanaging files and transferring matters to and from the Family Law and Federal Circuit Courts; There simply aren’t enough Judges to finalise cases early, [they] then get placed in the ‘too hard basket’ and keep dragging on and on”

.A rehearing is due to take place to include evidence of which Justice Demack overlooked and failed to take into account, with Justice Stewart Austin stating, “If the dual objectives of the attainment of justice and efficiency cannot be mutually achieved, justice must prevail”.

A complicated case

Despite the delay in proceedings, the case already presented as difficult, when taking into account not only the children’s emotional well-being, with both children separately suffering from Autism, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), but in factoring in the mother’s recent strike of luck at winning $1.2 million on the Lotto.

This happened just prior to separating from her Husband, the father of her two children.Demack’s final orders granted full custody to the mother, with the father receiving custody rights Wednesday to Sunday each alternate week; with both sharing the responsibility of making decisions within the children’s lives – A decision that was based on mismanaged court files, and ultimately led to an almost a decade-long trial.

A failure to engage with the fathers case”

Justice Steven Strickland has spoken publicly about the case.He makes no secret about his opinion that Justice Anne Demack failed to implement a detailed analysis, along with consideration in regards to the particular circumstances relating to the case.Now, the only option left for this family is to conduct a rehearing.
This will result in an even longer wait to get the matter resolved after an already prolonged wait of over seven years. 

About:If you would like more information or to schedule an interview, please contactHayder Shkara from Justice Family Lawyers +61 404 601 580

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