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Can't find the ex? - LOCATION ORDERS & COMMONWEALTH INFORMATION ORDERS

Details from the Family Law Act (amended)

Location Orders & Commonwealth Information Orders are the tools used by courts with jurisdiction under the Family Law Act to find someone who orders will be made upon.

The most commonly used are Commonwealth Information Orders which order to a naminated Federal Government Dept to supply the nominated information to the court(Typicaly address  information). Under the legislation the court may then distribute that authorised peope for the specific purpose of serving documents, recovering children or making an arrest. The party that applied for the Commonwealth Information Order is specificaly precluded from recieving the information.

Location Orders are similar to Commonwealth Information Orders but are made on non Federal Government bodies or people.

The relavent section of the Family Law Act 1975 (as ammended)

Subdivision C–Location and recovery of children

67J  Meaning of location order and Commonwealth information order


              (1)  A location order is an order made by a court requiring:


                      (a)  a person to provide the Registry Manager of the court with information that the person has or obtains about the child's location; or


                      (b)  the Secretary of a Department, or an appropriate authority of a Commonwealth instrumentality, to provide the Registry Manager of the court with information about the child's location that is contained in or comes into the records of the Department or instrumentality.


              (2)  A Commonwealth information order is a location order described in paragraph (1)(b).


67K  Who may apply for a location order

              (1)  A location order in relation to a child may be applied for by:


                      (a)  a person with whom the child is to live under a parenting order; or


                      (b)  a person with whom the child is to spend time under a parenting order; or


                        a person with whom the child is to communicate under a parenting order; or


                   (caa)  a person who has parental responsibility for the child under a parenting order; or


                     (ca)  a grandparent of the child; or


                      (d)  any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.


              (2)  For the purposes of the Child Protection Convention, a person (including the Commonwealth central authority) may apply to a court for a location order.


              (3)  In subsection (2):


Child Protection Convention has the same meaning as in section 111CA.


Commonwealth central authority has the same meaning as in section 111CA.


67L  Child's best interests paramount consideration in making a location order

                    In deciding whether to make a location order in relation to a child, a court must regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration.


Note:          Sections 60CB to 60CG deal with how a court determines a child's best interests.


67M  Provisions about location orders, other than Commonwealth information orders

              (1)  This section applies to location orders other than Commonwealth information orders.


              (2)  Subject to section 67L, a court having jurisdiction under this Part or section 111CX, or exercising jurisdiction in proceedings arising under regulations made for the purposes of Part XIIIAA, may make a location order if it is satisfied that the person to whom the order applies is likely to have information about the child's location.


              (3)  If the person to whom a location order applies holds an office or position in, or in relation to, a Department or a Commonwealth instrumentality, the order does not apply to information that the person has or obtains because of holding that office or position.


              (4)  A location order stays in force for 12 months or such longer period as the court considers appropriate.


              (5)  While a location order is in force, the person to whom it applies must provide the information sought by the order as soon as practicable, or as soon as practicable after the person obtains it.


              (6)  The person to whom a location order applies must comply with the order in spite of anything in any other law.


67N  Provisions about Commonwealth information orders

              (1)  This section applies to Commonwealth information orders.


              (2)  Subject to section 67L, a court having jurisdiction under this Part or section 111CX, or exercising jurisdiction in proceedings arising under regulations made for the purposes of Part XIIIAA, may make a Commonwealth information order if it is satisfied that information about the child's location is likely to be contained in, or to come into, the records of the Department or Commonwealth instrumentality concerned.


              (3)  A court must not make a Commonwealth information order unless:


                      (a)  a copy of the application for the order has been served in accordance with the applicable Rules of Court on the person to whom the order will apply (being the Secretary of the Department concerned or an appropriate authority of the Commonwealth instrumentality concerned); and


                      (b)  if that Department or Commonwealth instrumentality is prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph–either:


                               (i)  the period of 7 days after service of that copy of the application has expired; or


                              (ii)  the court considers that there are special circumstances because of which the order should be made before the end of that period of 7 days.


              (4)  If an application for a Commonwealth information order relates to more than one Department or Commonwealth instrumentality, the court must not make the order in relation to more than one of them unless the court considers it should do so because of exceptional circumstances.


              (5)  A court may state that a Commonwealth information order only applies to records of a particular kind if the court considers that:


                      (a)  the information sought by the order is only likely to be contained in records of that kind; and


                      (b)  to apply the order to all records of the Department or Commonwealth instrumentality concerned would place an unreasonable burden on its resources.


              (6)  A Commonwealth information order stays in force for 12 months.


              (7)  While a Commonwealth information order is in force, the person to whom the order applies must, subject to subsection (9), provide the information sought by the order as soon as practicable, or as soon as practicable after it comes into the records of the Department or Commonwealth instrumentality concerned.


              (8)  If the person (the official) to whom a Commonwealth information order applies provides another person (in accordance with the order) with information sought by the order, the official must, at the same time, provide the other person with any information about actual or threatened violence to the child concerned, to a parent of the child, or to another person with whom the child lives, that is in the records of the Department or Commonwealth instrumentality concerned.


              (9)  A Commonwealth information order does not require the records of the Department or Commonwealth instrumentality concerned to be searched for the information sought by the order more often than once every 3 months unless specifically so ordered by the court.


            (10)  The person to whom a Commonwealth information order applies must comply with the order in spite of anything in any other law.


67P  Information provided under location order not to be disclosed except to limited persons

              (1)  Information provided to the Registry Manager of a court under a location order (including a Commonwealth information order) must not be disclosed by the Registry Manager, or by any other person who obtains the information (whether directly or indirectly and whether under this section or otherwise) because of the provision of the information to the Registry Manager, except to:


                      (a)  the Registry Manager of another court; or


                      (b)  an officer of the court, or of another court, for the purpose of that officer's responsibilities or duties; or


                        a process‑server engaged by, or by an officer of, the court or another court; or


                      (d)  with the leave of the court that made the location order:


                               (i)  the legal adviser of the applicant for the order; or


                              (ii)  a process‑server engaged by that legal adviser; or


                      (e)  if a recovery order that consists of or includes an authorisation or direction described in paragraph 67Q(b) or is in force–a person to whom the authorisation or direction is addressed; or


                       (f)  with the leave of the court that made the location order:


                               (i)  the Commonwealth central authority; or


                              (ii)  a central authority or a competent authority of a Convention country.


Penalty:  120 penalty units.


Note:          For the value of a penalty unit, see subsection 4AA(1) of the Crimes Act 1914.


              (2)  Nothing in paragraphs (1)(a) to (e) authorises the disclosure of information to the applicant for the location order.





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