Dear Members of the Perak Bar,
We have come to the last quarter of the year and I hope everyone is well as we head towards the close of 2023. However, there is no rest for us practitioners as we continue to chug along in full steam. Pursuant to the recent discussion between the Committee and the Registrars of the High Court Ipoh, several issues were raised and addressed. Kindly take note of the following :-
1. REGARDING THE FILING OF DOCUMENTS FOR A JOINT PETITION FOR DIVORCE
Effective from 12.09.2023, it is no longer required for lawyers to file Directions For Trial pursuant to Rule 29 of the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce ) Act 1976 (Act 164) [hereinafter referred to as the “LRA 1976” ] and Notice of Hearing in joint petition proceedings . [The said Rule is only applicable for contested petitions]. As such, a Hearing date shall be fixed when Petition is processed by Court .
2. REGARDING THE TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS IN HEARING DIVORCE PETITIONS
While the Courts concede that pursuant to Rule 10 of the LRA 1976, a divorce petition may be presented to any branch of the High Court of Malaya; nevertheless on the directions of our Judge , members are notified that only Joint Petitions (filed under Code 33JP), applications for dispensation of reference to conciliatory board before filing petition for divorce and dispensation of service of cause papers for matters filed under Code 24 F/ “Saman Pemula (Keluarga)” ; will be heard in the High Court of Malaya at Ipoh. For contested proceedings, lawyers have been directed to file their petitions and Summons’ at the nearest High Court according the addresses of the Applicant or Respondent respectively, failing which the Ipoh High Court will fix a Case Management date and give its directions on the same.
3. REGARDING MATTERS FILED ON A CERTIFICATE OF URGENCY
a) We are informed that pursuant to the Chief Judge’s Circular No :4/2012, all matters filed on a certificate of Urgency will be brought to the Judge’s attention on the same day the matter is filed . If the court is of the view the matter is urgent, a Hearing date shall be fixed the next day. If the Court is of the view that there is no urgency, a Hearing date shall be fixed in 2 weeks and the ex- parte application shall be converted to an inter- parte Hearing. Lawyers are advised to explain clearly the urgency of your matter in the Certificate of Urgency to obtain an ex parte order. As such, we are informed that the Court will not be fixing a Case Management date for matters filed under a certificate of Urgency.
b) In the event the presiding Judge is not available on the Hearing date, on the instructions of the same, the matter shall be referred to another Judge to hear the said application.
4. REGARDING THE PROCEDURE TO MEET JUDICIAL OFFICERS DURING THE ENDEMIC PERIOD
It was brought to our attention that lawyers who wanted to quickly meet with judicial officers were asked to write in to fix an appointment to meet them . It is now agreed that is no longer the requirement . While the Judicial officers can assist immediately for simple matters , it is now agreed that lawyers who need to meet with judicial officers for more pressing matters are advised to first , send their queries directly to the relevant officer preferably via email or to call them directly . We are assured that the officers will respond quickly to the email /call and will try to resolve the issue. However if they are not able to do so at the 1st instance, they will then inform the individual lawyer to meet them the next day or as soon as possible to assist them. Lawyers are advised to follow the aforesaid protocol so that matters can be easily addressed and followed up accordingly. Please note that the email addresses of all judicial officers are available from the Perak Bar Secretariat.
Surprisingly, the Perak Bar Committee has received feedback from the judicial officers that there are apparently lawyers who approach them for “advice” in respect of general procedural matters and that they have to deal with lawyers who constantly interupt them when they are in the midst of conducting their cases. The Committee would like to impress upon its members to use their discretion and be mindful when approaching judicial officers for assistance .
5. REGARDING THE SIX (6 ) PARKING BAYS ALLOCATED AT THE IPOH HIGH COURT PREMISES
Unfortunately, we have not been able to secure more allocations for lawyers at this juncture as we are informed that parking space is constrained due to the demolition of the car park at the Ipoh Sessions Court premises whereby priority is given to all court staff . It appears that this is the inconvenience that we will have to face until the completion of the new lower court complex. However we will revisit this issue when opportunity presents itself.
6. REGARDING THE E-COURT TRAINING SESSIONS AT THE IPOH COURT COMPLEX ON 19.09.2023
We draw members attention to the Circular No : 252/2023 dated 13.09.2023 issued by the Chairpersons of the Courts Liaison Committee of the Bar Council . Details of the training session for both civil and criminal practitioners are found at the said circular which is attached here.
7. MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS
a. Usage of lift at the Ipoh High Court Complex
The Courts are agreeable to allow members who are ill, and/or disabled, advanced in age and those carrying voluminous bags , files and documents for trial, to use the lift at the High Court complex HOWEVER such members are required to notify the court staff at the Customer Service Booth first , who will obtain the permission of the Timbalan Pendaftar (Pentadbiran) i.e currently Puan Natrah Bt Mohd Yusuf OR members may directly email her to notify her of the same.
b. Filing of documents by lawyers not on record for parties in the E-Filing system
We are informed that there are instances where documents are being filed by firms that are not on record for the parties in the matter . The example given by the Registrar is when lawyers proceed to file documents on behalf of unrepresented parties via their firm’s e-filing portal. Unrepresented parties are required to be present physically at the Court Registry , where assistance will be provided to them to e-file their documents .
c. Four (4) days to approve draft Orders
There is a turn around time of four (4) days for the processing of draft orders pursuant to the Arahan Amalan Ketua Hakim Negara No 1/2022 . Members kindly take note and contact the particular officer in charge if there is any delay in the processing of your Draft Orders.
d. Notice of Applications / Notis Permohonan
Members , do take note that all Notice of Applications / Notis Permohonan filed under Order 32 Rules of Court 2012 in the High Court and Lower Court are applications made in Chambers , even though it may have been called up in open Court for submissions and/or decision. We have noted that there were instances when the Registry had amended draft Orders obtained pursuant to these applications from “Dalam Kamar” to “Dalam Mahkamah Terbuka” . Kindly be aware as your client may end up paying more than necessary in filing fees and hold you responsible for the error . If you find your self in such a situation, by all means do bring it up to the attention of the judicial officers to rectify the same .
Courts Liasion Sub Committee 2023/2024