Appeals from the Children's Court in care proceedings 

The following are guidelines set out by the Judicial Registrar of the District Court:

1. Appeals are commenced by summons which must be filed within 28 days of the orders appealed from. Otherwise the summons must include an application for an extension of time (Uniform Civil Procedure Rule 50.3).

2. The summons must be in accordance with form 84 and state:
(a) the date of the decision appealed from
(b) whether the appeal relates to the whole decision or part only and if so, which part
(c) what decision you seek in place of the decision of the Children's Court

3. The summons must also contain a statement setting out briefly the grounds relied on in support of the appeal (Rule 50.4).

4. Appeals from the Children's Court are case managed by a District Court Judge with the aim of ensuring that the appeals heard as quickly as possible.

5. Matters are listed for directions before a Judge, usually on Wednesdays at 9.00 am within approximately three weeks of the filing of the summons.

6. By that time the party appealing (plaintiff) should have served the summons on all interested parties and it is expected that each party who has been served with the summons and who intends to participate in the appeal will have filed and served a notice of appearance.

7. At the first directions hearing the plaintiff and (if the plaintiff is not the Director-General) the Director-General will be required to inform the Court whether the appeal is:
(a) an appeal directly to the District Court from a decision as to care made in the Children's Court (a primary decision); or
(b) an appeal from a decision of the Children's Court not to rescind or vary a primary decision or not to grant leave to hear an application for rescission or variation.

8. At the first directions hearing the plaintiff and (if the plaintiff is not the Director-General) the Director-General will also be required to inform the Court as to who the proper parties to the appeal are or ought to be.  Particular attention will be given to whether the plaintiff on the appeal was a party to the proceedings in the Children's Court.

9. If any party to an appeal wishes to rely upon fresh evidence or evidence in addition to, or in substitution for, evidence before the Children's Court, that party will be required to inform the Court at an early stage:
(a) the nature of the evidence
(b) to what issue it is relevant
(c) why the evidence was not relied on in the Children's Court.

10.  See also Practice Note DC (Civil) No. 5 concerning Child Care Appeals.

Judicial Registrar
District Court of New South Wales
October 2010







The information on this site is a guide only and is not legal advice - see disclaimer.