Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

s 121 Family Law Act - what are "proceedings"

I know that s 121 stops people from reporting on "proceedings" in the family court. But does this extend to cases that are over? I cant get an answer from anyone (incl solicitors, Legal Aid, the FC iteself, ALRC…)

Couple of technical questions:

1. If affidavits were submitted, but no-one took the stand, are those affidavits still protected under s121?

2. If allegations were made eg. false allegations of child abuse, can I comment on those allegations that were made and show any third party documentation (besides court appointed reports) eg. police reports, doctors reports, psychological reports (including my own)?

3. Can actual Court Orders be disclosed? ie. can I publish a copy of my final orders?


If you cannot publish anything about anyone afterwards, how can the Family Court publish documents itself, even though it removes the actual names of the parties?

Has anyone actually gone to prison or received a criminal record for disclosing information?


To me, if someone made false allegations against you to a criminal extent, they shouldnt be able to be protected by submitting those allegations to the Family Court.

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
Sorry Dvmethod I am no help but awaiting for someone to reply on s121 of the Family Law Act as documents have been submitted to the CSA to instigate another COA but the documents are still part of an ongoing case. Also they dosclose my partners name and bank account details.

One would think this is not allowable???

Although I contacted the Privacay Commissioner as it states on the Family Court website and they said that an individual can give out documents with no consequences and to call the court about s121 being broken. The court then said that they didn't know and to call your lawyer. Bit of a run around.
dvmethod.com said
I know that s 121 stops people from reporting on "proceedings" in the family court. But does this extend to cases that are over? I cant get an answer from anyone (incl solicitors, Legal Aid, the FC iteself, ALRC…
Yes it does, the moment papers are lodged it becomes a case and when completed it is still a case. Remember Section 121 relates to the identification of parties and witnesses and not to the mechanics of a case.
 
dvmethod.com said
1. If affidavits were submitted, but no-one took the stand, are those affidavits still protected under s121?
Yes. In longer cases you can challenge the form of the Affidavit (content etc) before it is accepted into evidence. If no challenge Affidavits become evidence whether or not there has been cross examination
 
dvmethod.com said
2. If allegations were made eg. false allegations of child abuse, can I comment on those allegations that were made and show any third party documentation (besides court appointed reports) eg. police reports, doctors reports, psychological reports (including my own)?
Not sure of this question, do you mean after Court? 
dvmethod.com said
3. Can actual Court Orders be disclosed? ie. can I publish a copy of my final orders?

Yes providing all possible identifications details are removed
   
dvmethod.com said
If you cannot publish anything about anyone afterwards, how can the Family Court publish documents itself, even though it removes the actual names of the parties?
Because the Court has the power to authorize publication orders, note how abducted children and the parents are identified often with photographs. Court published documents often remove more than just names as sometimes even locations and States are deliberately mixed
 
dvmethod.com said
Has anyone actually gone to prison or received a criminal record for disclosing information?
Prisons not for a few years, nice hefty fines YES and generally there a couple each year to ensure compliance. Note the Courier Mail recently pleaded guilty regarding the Italian sisters case.
 
dvmethod.com said
To me, if someone made false allegations against you to a criminal extent, they shouldnt be able to be protected by submitting those allegations to the Family Court.
There were provisions for costs orders in the 2006 amendments, however the recent Labour government watered these down or perhaps better described as seriously diluted them.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
dvmethod.com said

Has anyone actually gone to prison or received a criminal record for disclosing information?
…I won't answer every question because Agog has done a reasonable job for you. The Federal Police have on two occasions in the last five years contacted the site admins for details on some posts where disclosures of a report writer was made. The posts were made anonymous and the poster warned by the Federal Police. The poster again decided that he would create a new account and re post similar information. The Federal Police proceeded to charge the said poster but withdrew the charges at the last minute due to complications in linking the two identities. I have not had a look at any recent cases around s121.
dvmethod.com said
To me, if someone made false allegations against you to a criminal extent, they shouldnt be able to be protected by submitting those allegations to the Family Court.
They are not. Section 117 is fully operational although some minor amendments were made in 2012 to remove s117AB we have yet to see how courts adequately deal with false allegations. I am involved in a hearing that concludes end October so will let you know how the court will treat 117 and as well 117AB as we are pressing for significant costs orders against the party who has made the false allegations and tied us up in court for some two years plus.

We are also looking for comments and submissions from litigants in relation to driving through more amendments to deal with false allegations because it is taking way too long to deal with these in some cases. Often the relationship with the children is irretrievably damaged by long delays in getting contact arrangements going and we are seeking ideas and comments on ways to implement some sort of early testing of these sorts of allegations even to the extent of looking to local courts in the first instance. Allegations made by one party against another is almost a sure fired way to complicate, obfuscate, muddy the waters, exponentially increase legal costs and significantly increase complexity and time frames for what in the ordinary course of events is simply two parties who hate each other - and are now separating!… For example in a Magellan matter where a form four advice has initiated such hearing you could easily expend 30-50k EACH just to get to day one of the hearing by the time professional reports are ordered and a number of Barristers at the table, solicitors and associated preparatory costs. A four day matter could easily reach 50-100k each by the time all the steps are followed in the time line.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
SPCA, can you contact me at dvmethod@hotmail.com   Ive got a great story with some very interesting things you can read and listen too.

Im trying to get my situation into parliament for some serious changes. For this to happen, I need to break s121, but for good reason. I wont disclose the contents of the Family Report, or the ICL reports. Im sure no jury in this country would prosecute me and I can take a fine or two.

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
dvmethod.com said
Im sure no jury in this country would prosecute me and I can take a fine or two.
You would not be tried by a jury and the fine is up to $50K, could you take two of those?

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Serious? A guy a know beat another guy up and put him in hospital. He got an $800 fine. Drink driving gets about $300 or so. Yet, freedom of speech costs up to $50k. Crazy. I would have though $1200 or so.

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
dvmethod.com said
Serious? A guy a know beat another guy up and put him in hospital. He got an $800 fine. Drink driving gets about $300 or so. Yet, freedom of speech costs up to $50k. Crazy. I would have though $1200 or so.
Your analogy is silly as the section actually states the penalties in advance - up to 12 months jail or $50K.
You seem to be confusing freedom of speech with privacy of the people and the children involved. I strongly suggest you actually do some reading and more than little research before asking any more questions about Section 121.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Doesnt the Australian Constitution state that any trial shall be by jury? How can the FC try someone without a jury? Surely they are not above the Constitution?

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
dvmethod.com said
Doesnt the Australian Constitution state that any trial shall be by jury? How can the FC try someone without a jury? Surely they are not above the Constitution?
 Where does it state that? Have ever read the document? Define 'Trial'.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
AGOG, are you having me on? s 80 Australian Constitution states it clearly:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s80.html


Furthermore, s 121 only refers to "up to 1 year imprisonment". There is nothing about a fine. I would say the FC would hand out a fine if you pleaded guilty. However, and this is from doing a lot of reading into this, the reality seems to be that the FC can only refer the complaint to the AFP to investigate. So if the AFP are pushing the trial, then you would be entitled to a jury. And I seriously doubt any jury is going to find someone guilty of speaking out about false allegations.

Am i incorrect about any of this? (although the last part is arguable)

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets