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Could someone shed some light please

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Yesterday my brother attempted to represent himself in a property and custody settlement at the Family Court Brisbane. The case was booked for 2 days but was finished in half a day. Prior to the court case he had 2 hours per week custody only that was arranged through mediation session.

The results of the court case are:

- No increase in access;

- Ex partner given close to 85% of the assets;

- Brother given 14 days to leave his house, 45 days to sell; and

- Was not given the chance to represent himself.

On the last point, the opposing parties solicitor & barrister (brother was unaware that a barrister would be attending the case) spoke, the Judge then stated that they had heard enough, left the chambers, returned and gave the verdict. My question is - has anyone experienced or heard a case where someone is unable to present their side of the case, and if so how does this happen? I am struggling to see how this can be a fair process if one party is unable to speak or challenge the other.

Regards Name withheld.
You may have to appeal. It's not uncommon for magistrates and judges to interrupt cross examinations, close down proceedings, fail to hear people,etc. Whether they made an error in law is another matter - although natural justice is a legal concept its not one generally talked too much about (I think) in family court and CSA matters.

So the system is set up really to make it difficult as possible (for some people) to get good results. This means that you have to expect to appeal and go through the hoops.

Basically as there is little consequence for anyone involved in stuffing you and your family around , government employees, particularly the judiciary are very well protected - so its only you who has to suffer the process - they get paid for it.

Unfortunatley I have seen too many people go all the way to the High Court - only to lose or if they win - lose all their possessions, money to the lawyers.

Its an ugly system but there are a number of appeal processes and things take time and effort. Don't expect a quick win ever with family court or CSA matters - its all a matter of time (many years sometimes) and sustained work and effort. Keep your chin up and don't give up and stay sane.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
OMG!!!! I cannot believe that a human being could be so arrogant where the lives of people are involved. Where in any law does it give a judge the right to turn his or her back on a party who has not had the chance to state their case???? Surely we need the right to freedom of speech in this country? I don't know the full details of the case, but, as judges are subject to normal human emotions perhaps he or she was having a bad day thus impairing their "judgement". The Family Law Act allows appeals yes. Having said that is is as the previous post states a long and drawn out process costing a lot of money that most people just don't have. This may sound cynical but perhaps a computer could do the ruling for the FCoA. Then only the programmer is to blame…….. so the software is re-written to eliminate "mistakes". A very clinical approach but who knows one day it may be the case:o

Judges are human and they need to remember this IMO if they are having a bad day, feeling sick, lacking concentration etc then adjourn the case!!!! I sat in on a hearing last week. The Barrister for the mother was rather loud and animated. The Judge said " Quieter please I have a headache". I thought then that the hearing should have been adjourned but it continued all day and was scheduled to go into the next day which it did.

I wish your brother the best of luck.. please let us know how he goes…
Roosters_64 you are exactly right - judges are human. the system is full of humans - the young assistances who prepare the cases for the judges - 'summarizing' the pertinent details. You can see fro the statistics I produced on hearings how busy some of them are.

So they blame the system as well and not having enough resources and time.

The point is - there will be stuff ups, mistakes etc - their view is that the legal system is their world - so if you have a problem then go back in through the legal system . The allow themselves to be wrong because you can always take it further (in their eyes).

So always consider an appeal or re-trial or whatever legal manoeuvrings you can use - this is what the legal profession does - its is seen as normal.

Unfortunately it is costly and stressful and try getting money from the government because of what the 'system' has done to you. (its not possible) - but as long as you are allowed your day(s) in court you can continue.

Justice, however is another topic entirely.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Dear Guest, Despite the responses you have already received there really isn't enough information in your post to be in a position to give you or your brother any useful practical advice. Perhaps you or your brother can join up FLWG and provide some more info. Remember to omit any details which might identify the parties or children.
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