This message has just been received from Royal Federation with some elaboration on my email earlier this morning to Support Group Coordinators. Please circulate this message also to your members as soon as possible.
All service Desks in Auckland/Franklin should be closed for the duration of the lockdown.
For the rest of the country it is unlikely that any Service Desks will be able to operate over the next three days – please check with your venue provider. We will add a message to the Royal Federation website page to indicate closures are likely, but we will not be removing the listings at this stage, so there is no need to advise us of closures.
Visiting Justices with hearings scheduled this week should contact the relevant prison direct to determine what processes are being put in place and whether hearings are going ahead.
We are awaiting more information from the Ministry of Justice – as soon as it is available we will send an email directly to those Judicial Justices who are affected by any decisions made regarding changes to court operations.
Please refer to the protocol below (link) for more information:
If any Judicial Justices decide to be unavailable during this period, please advise the local Court Manager AND Tony Pugh RF Manager. The information has been requested by the Ministry of Justice to allow them to make alternative arrangements if necessary.
Issuing Officers over the age of 70 may withdraw their services and refer the agency to alternative IO. If they decide to continue to provide a service, they should follow the now standard hygiene protocols of handwashing, masks, gloves and no physical contact.
Nominated Witnesses and Mental Health Act work:
Justices over the age of 70, or with underlying medical risks, may choose to refer authorities to someone else on the contact list, but should ensure that if they do undertake any work that they follow the standard hygiene protocols.
Justices working from home:
With Service Desks closed the demand for home based services will increase. Justices over the age of 70, or anyone with underlying medical risks, should explain to callers that they are not available to see anyone in their home – this applies to level 2 and 3, but attempt to identify an alternative in the neighbourhood who is able to assist. We will add a message to the front of the website before noon today similar to previous messages which were used in April/May. At this stage, with only a 3 day lockdown advised, it would be preferable for “Find a JP” availability notes to not be modified. If the lockdown continues past the weekend, we expect some people will modify their availability.
It is strongly recommended that Auckland and Franklin Justices of the Peace do not undertake work from home.
Justices who do continue to work from home should apply the hygiene protocols as previously described and that adequate contact information is obtained from the client to ensure tracing is straightforward, if required.
Modification Order relating to the taking of Affidavits and Statutory Declaration
The modification order which provides for Affidavits and Statutory Declarations to be taken by Audio Visual, or Audio only means, remains in place.
The Royal Federation will update this information as required. Please also refer to https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/restrictions/auckland/ and https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19/restrictions/alert-level-2/.
If you have any further queries regarding this message please contact me directly via email or cellphone. Stay safe and well.
Sherryl Wilson JP
Auckland Justices of the Peace Association Inc