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Preparing for court

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Summary

Why is it important to attend court? It is in your interest to attend court. If you have been charged on summons you should attend court on the date your case is listed. If you do not attend, and have not contacted the court to arrange an adjournment, your case may be heard and determined without you. The magistrate may issue a warrant for your arrest. If you are on bail or charged with a more serious offence, you must attend court in accordance with your bail undertaking. If you do not, the magistrate may issue a warrant for your arrest.

Legal advice and representation

You can make appointments for legal assistance before your hearing date by contacting the Centre. The Neighbourhood Justice Centre has four lawyers from Victoria Legal Aid and Fitzroy Legal Service. They provide free legal advice and representation for the Magistrates' Court , Children's Court, Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) including in its tenancy, civil, guardianship and administration jurisdictions. To make an appointment telephone 9948 8777 or visit the information desk at the Centre, 241 Wellington St Collingwood Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Support

Attending court can sometimes be a confronting or overwhelming experience.  The Neighbourhood Justice Centre provides support for people attending court, or for people who have friends and family attending court. This support can assist you to navigate the court system and introduce you to helpful people and services.

Client services

If you are attending court at the Centre, the Client Services team is available to help you. We will support you before and during your hearing as well as after your hearing is finalised. We can help you with personal, health, social or financial issues. To access these services you can telephone 9948 8777 or visit the information desk at the Centre, or ask your lawyer, reception or registry staff.

Court Network

Court Network offers personal support, information and referral to all court users. If you have a matter before the court or tribunal at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Court Network can show you around the building, and they can introduce you to the services available and people who may be relevant to your needs or case.

Information, support and referral services are provided by trained Court Network volunteers, and are available for:

  • victims of crime
  • people accused of crime
  • families, adults and children who attend court and require support
  • adults and children who have been violated or exploited by crime; and
  • litigants who have little or no support.

The Salvation Army Chaplain

The Salvation Army Chaplain can offer you practical and emotional support before, during and after a court appearance at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. Like the Court Network Volunteers, the Chaplain is available to provide support to all clients, who include victims of crime, people accused of crime, witnesses, and support people. As an officer of the Salvation Army, the Chaplain is committed to assisting all people without regard to nationality, race, belief, sexuality, ability, or judgement of behaviour.

The Chaplain is available on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Interpreting services

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre has a Vietnamese Interpreter (Professional Level) on site at the Centre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and based in the Court Registry.  For all other Court interpreting needs, please call the Registry on 9948 8600 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

 

 

Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images and voices of people who have died.

Reviewed: 19/12/2014 © 2016 State Government of Victoria