Request a hearing

Parties can request a directions hearing if they are unable to resolve a matter in its preliminary stages.

Changes to operations

Following advice from the federal and state governments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the County Court has reduced the number of in-person hearings heard before the Court.

As a result, to apply for a directions hearing before a Commercial Division Judicial Registrar, you will need to complete the Request for an interlocutory determination: Commercial Division form and return it to the Commercial Division Registry at commercial.registry@countycourt.vic.gov.au. This email must be copied to all parties.

You are encouraged to consult the Commercial Registry guidelines and orders before making an application.

Please note that any request for a directions hearing in the Expedited List should be sent directly to the associate to the Commercial Division judicial registrar: commercialjr.chambers@countycourt.vic.gov.au.

Some changes have also been made to the process for requesting summonses, as outlined below.

Applications where rules require a summons

Some applications require a summons to be issued. The types of applications that require a summons is outlined in Section 24.2 of the Commercial Division practice note (PNCO 1-2019).

In accordance with the Commercial Division response to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Court is, where possible, now determining all Duty Court applications on the papers. An oral hearing will only be conducted if a Judge or Judicial Registrar forms the view that an oral hearing is required.

When making an application by summons, please use the updated template Form 46A Summons for either a summons to be determined on the papers or by way of oral hearing.

If you are seeking to make an application by summons, please email a draft summons in one of the above forms to the Commercial Registry, copied to all parties.

If you are seeking that the application be determined in less than four weeks, please advise the date the determination is required by and provide brief reasons.

If you are seeking an oral hearing, please clearly explain why an oral hearing is required and provide an estimated duration of the hearing and any unsuitable dates for the parties.

Once your request to file a summons has been processed by the Commercial Registry, you will be advised by email of the next steps to determine the application.

Request for an urgent hearing

During normal court sitting hours

For all urgent applications during normal court sitting hours, please contact the Commercial Registry. This will be referred to the associate to the Commercial Division duty judge. Examples of urgent applications include interlocutory injunctions, freezing orders and search orders. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, all oral hearings will be conducted via video-link application or telephone.

Outside of normal court sitting hours (civil applications only)

For all urgent civil applications outside of the Court's normal sitting hours, please contact the associate to the duty judge. This telephone number is for urgent civil applications only. Staff cannot provide legal advice or respond to queries relating to criminal matters, upcoming hearing dates or warrants. You can contact the associate to the duty judge on 0419 384 312.

Commercial Division duty judge roster

Date Judge
18 September–16 October Judge Ryan
16 October–20 November Judge Macnamara
20 November–18 December Judge Trapnell

Applications for review of a judicial registrar’s decision

Parties may seek a review of any decision made by a judicial registrar.

Complete the relevant form and submit it within 14 days of the decision.

The hearing of the application will be listed by the Commercial Registry before the duty judge at the next available date.

Judicial resolution conferences

Judicial resolution conferences will ordinarily be conducted by a judicial registrar as a mediation.

Judicial resolution conferences are considered to be of most value where:

  • one or more parties have limited means
  • there is a self-represented litigant
  • there is a benefit in immediate mediation (such as during the course of trial)
  • private mediation has been unsuccessful
  • a proceeding listed for trial is on the reserve list
  • the costs, duration or complexity of any trial are likely to be disproportionate to the amounts in dispute.

A judicial resolution conference may be requested by email to the Commercial Registry: commercial.registry@countycourt.vic.gov.au.

The subject heading should read ‘Request for judicial resolution conference’. The email should set out the reasons why a judicial resolution conference is appropriate in the circumstances.

Filing a garnishee summons (rule 71.01.10)

A garnishee summons is a court order to an institution, body or person who holds funds owing to the judgment debtor. It allows money to be paid to the judgment creditor to satisfy the debt.

An application for leave to file and serve a garnishee summons should be emailed to the Commercial Registry: commercial.registry@countycourt.vic.gov.au.

The application should be supported by an affidavit:

  • exhibiting the judgment to be enforced
  • stating the date, amount and method of payment of any payments made, or if no payments have been made:
    • providing a calculation of the amount due, any interest accrued or accruing and the costs of the judgment creditor’s costs of the garnishee proceedings on a standard basis
    • providing evidence that a debt is due or accruing to the judgment debtor from the garnishee, or providing evidence that a debt will or is likely to become due or accruing to the judgment debtor from the garnishee together with the date it will become due or accrue
      • exhibiting the proposed garnishee summons in form 71A
    • explaining any delay in seeking to enforce the judgment
    • drawing the Court’s attention to any limitations act issues which may arise.

If leave is granted to issue a garnishee summons, the garnishee summons form 71A must be e-filed with the Registry within 30 days of making the order.

The Registry will then issue the summons allocating a date at least 14 days from the date of issue.

For further information, see the garnishee summons procedure.

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Page last updated: 20 September 2020