Bail justice hearings

Follow this procedure when a bail justice hearing is required to make an interim accommodation order (IAO).

Introduction

A bail justice can make an interim accommodation order (IAO) if a child is taken into emergency care and cannot be produced before a court within 24 hours.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks

  • If you take a child into emergency care and cannot attend the Children’s Court within 24 hours, contact the Bail Justice Call Centre on 03 9483 4172 or the local police station to request a bail justice for a bail justice hearing.
  • See the time ready-reckoner in Bail justice hearings guide - advice if you are unsure whether a bail justice hearing is required.
  • Consider a bail justice hearing in exceptional circumstances when you can attend court within 24 hours, if it is in the child’s best interests to seek an IAO before the emergency care application is heard in court.

‘Exceptional circumstances’ means the child is at risk of harm if a bail justice hearing does not occur. Seek a bail justice hearing if a specific condition is necessary to ensure the child’s safety before the emergency care application is brought before the court. For example, to protect the child from harm before the application is heard in court, you may wish to make it a condition of the IAO that no contact occur between the parents and child before the application is heard, or that contact must be supervised. This may be necessary if the child is being placed with a suitable person and the address of that person is known by the parents.

  • Endeavour to have all parties who will be attending the hearing present at the hearing location before contacting the bail justice.
  • Complete Form 12 ‘Interim accommodation order’ (see Court owned forms) in CRIS or offline if necessary. Include the child’s name and address, applicant’s name and address and grounds from s. 262(1) of the CYFA. Do not complete other details, because you cannot pre-empt the decision of the bail justice.
  • Do not brief the bail justice before the hearing. Provide all relevant information in the course of the hearing. The bail justice hearing is a formal out-of-session court hearing. Refer to the bail justice as ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am,’ when in session.
  • Prepare to provide evidence to the hearing about:
    • protective concerns
    • risk of significant and immediate harm to the child
    • best-interests assessment and rationale for the child being taken into emergency care
    • your recommendation about where the child should be placed until the matter can be heard at the Children’s Court.

The bail justice may:

  • make an IAO placing the child as recommended by the practitioner
  • make an IAO returning the child to the parent’s care
  • make no IAO.

 

  • If the bail justice makes an IAO, complete Form 12 with the bail justice’s signature and other details. Give all parties copies of the form. Keep the original form to present to court the next working day.
  • If the bail justice does not make an IAO, the application that was issued by the practitioner (the protection application or breach application) continues to exist and you should inform the family that the matter will be heard at the Children's Court the following working day, and that they should attend. You can make a further application for an IAO at the court hearing.
  • Record the outcome in CRIS.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide support and direction.

Team manager tasks

  • Endorse key decisions, including decision to seek a bail justice hearing.

 

Related procedures

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