The Civil Court Three Track is part of the common law division as opposed to the other division, Equity Division. It consists of all cases founded on common law principles like Tort and Contract and those brought about under specific statutes like adoption cases, custody cases, divorce petitions and so forth.
There are three tracks under the common law division, one of which is this track. All the cases registered in the registry at Waigani which does not fall into one of the special tracks are divided allocated to these three tracks in a equal manner to avoid one track getting more cases than the other or as well as avoid tendency of favouring a particular track. We have a process of such distribution and follow it.
Its main function is to serve all court users in regards to managing of the files in document filing by parties, having the matter listed for direction hearings, getting the matter listed where there are application or motion filed to move or when the matter is set for trial for substantive hearing , the matters are listed.
Lawyers corresponding on matters relating cases under this track come to the officers who work in the track and deal with queries, requests and other matters.
The types of cases registered and allocated to this track varies, depending on what remedy is sought from the court. They cover cases such as Writ of Summons, Originating Summons, Miscellaneous Proceedings, Matrimonial Causes, Wills Probate and Lawyers Admissions.
Similar to all tracks, we have our own set of listing of cases that go before the court. We have three main listing. They are as follows:
- Directions Hearing List.
This consists of all cases requested by parties to be put before the court for the parties to attend and seek various order from the court. It is also a process for parties to have their matter go before the court to do certain things to progress the case for final dealing. The main reasons for this list are to seek directional orders or get trial dates.
The parties or their lawyers write and make requests to have the case go before the court.
- Motion List.
These are applications which a party to a proceeding through their lawyers or by themselves do before the court. Appropriate motion documents are lodged and we allocate dates and party then appear before the court after serving to move their motion. All motions are listed for a particular day of the week and these are brought before the court which deals with the motions.
Apart from filing fresh motions, it is possible for p[arties whose motions have been deferred and pending to write to us and request that it be listed for the court to deal with. When we receive the requests we then have the matter listed and advised of the date so they will in turn inform the other side and appear before the court on the set dates.
- Trial List.
This consists of all the cases for trial by the court in a month. The list is produced and on a daily basis the cases set for a particular date during the circuit is put on the Daily Diary and the parties appear for the trial. The trial dates are allocated by the Judge and these are done during the Direction Hearing sessions.
Whatever is filed or lodged for processing relating to cases under the track are checked and when we decide that they are in order, we process them. This is the same application in all other track.
We are guided by the rules of practice and provisions of the statutes under which certain proceedings have been lodged so we use them to check that they are in order. Our main rules of practice are the National Court Rules and Civil Practice Rules relating to the various activities in the registry.
Fresh application is received over the counter, Writ of Summons, Originating Summons etc. Notice of Motion received over the counter are given dates during the circuit sittings as per the Court Calendar. In The registry, Clerks/Officers screen Court Documents before sealing. Dates are given to Clients advising of their appearance before the Court.
Pending Notice of Motion is listed by way of letter request from the applicant. Notice is sent out advising parties (plaintiff/defendants) of the date of their appearance before the Court by post, phone and through facsimile.
Direction Hearing is listed once Consent Notice of Set Down sign by both parties (Plaintiff/defendant) is received and sealed or direction of the Court to be placed on Directions Hearing List.
Trial Matters are being given dates during Directions Hearing. Files in Court are endorsed and sent back to the Track officer to update. A Notice of Trial is lodged by the parties confirming the Trial Date which is endorsed by the Registrar.
Transfer of Files- once a direction is given by the Court for the matter to be transferred to another Track. A referral form is filled and signed and send to appropriate officers to action. Once the matter is being disqualified before the Judge, referral is filled in and sent to another track for the matter to be listed.
Statistics – Monthly report is provided by the Track Leader as a report on pending cases, closed cases, how many matters listed for Motions, Directions Hearing and Trial.
It is lead by a team leader or Supervisor with two assistants. The main function of this track is to serve Clients to the best of their ability and knowledge.
Our customers are both internal and external. Whilst we assist the court users, lawyers and parties to the proceeding in dealing with their documents, and or getting the matter before the courts, we are also very much determined to ensure that the Court is assisted to deal with the cases. The Court or the Judge is our primary customer because we are there to support the court carry out its Constitutional function of hearing cases and disposing them by making final decisions.
The details of the staff which manage the track are here.
Whilst we cannot be perfect, we strive to ensure that all stakeholders are efficiently served and attended to in regards to their cases. Please let us know of your concerns so that we can address the concerns so that the services we provide are improved constantly within the bounds of the requirements of the rules.