Disputes Tribunal COVID-19 protocol at 3 December 2021
The Disputes Tribunal has put safety measures in place to minimize the risk of participants being exposed to COVID-19. Under both "Red" and "Orange" of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, the following measures will apply in the Disputes Tribunal.
All hearings will be by teleconference from Monday, 6 December 2021 (inclusive).
Parties will be contacted to confirm that their hearing is by teleconference. At the time of the hearing, the Referee will contact the parties by conference call.
This protocol will be subject to ongoing review and modification as local risks change.
Other safety measures in place
Everyone who attends the Disputes Tribunal in-person until the start of teleconferencing must comply with the following health and safety requirements:
- Scan the QR Code at the entrance to the Court building, or record details in the register provided at the door;
- Wear a facemask in the Court building and in the hearing room, unless an exemption applies, or unless in the hearing the Referee approves its removal;
- Maintain a distance of at least 1m from others (unless they are a person attending with you);
- Apply hand sanitiser upon being seated at your table; and
- Cleaning products will be available in the hearing room to enable participants to keep their immediate areas clean.
Any concerns about health and safety practices in the Court should be raised with the local Court Manager in the first instance. In the event of community transmission in your area, public health advice will be taken and further measures may be put in place.
Principal Disputes Referee
The Disputes Tribunal is quicker, cheaper and less formal than court. You can use the Tribunal to settle small claims up to $30,000.
The Disputes Tribunal isn't like a formal court. You usually represent yourself in a hearing - a lawyer can’t represent you, and there are no judges.
You can use the Disputes Tribunal to settle disputes involving small claims so you don't have to go to court.
You'll need to fill out a form plus pay a fee and give us specific information to make a claim.
What to do if you've gotten a notice of hearing that someone has made a claim against you in the Disputes Tribunal.
How to prepare for a hearing at the Disputes Tribunal and what happens at a hearing.
Fees to apply to the Disputes Tribunal depend on the amount the claim is for.
You can find a Disputes Tribunal at almost every District Court in New Zealand - they share the same contact details with the court.
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