Case flow

The case flow management process helps the court identify cases that are not progressing satisfactorily, consistently with the objective set out in rule 5 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999, and which may require more proactive case management.

The process is set out in Practice Direction 4 of 2020 - Case Flow Management - Civil Jurisdiction (PDF, 540.7 KB).

Case flow review dates:

The current proposed case flow review date for 2020 are:

  • Friday, 19 June 2020
  • Friday, 31 July 2020
  • Friday, 21 August 2020
  • Friday, 18 September 2020
  • Friday, 16 October 2020
  • Friday, 13 November 2020
  • Friday, 11 December 2020

These dates are subject to change. Further dates for the second half of 2020 will be identified on the Supreme Court Trial Division court calendar, once it is available.

If the parties have reached agreement in relation to a proposed draft order prior to the date on which the matter is listed for case flow review, the proposed draft order and evidence of all parities' consent must be emailed to the associate to the case flow judge (associate.bowskillj@courts.qld.gov.au) —and copied to the case flow list manager (caseflowmanager@justice.qld.gov.au) —by 12.00 noon on the Thursday prior to the review.

Any information or other material received after 12.00 noon on the Thursday before the review will not be considered and the matter will remain on the review list unless the case flow review judge orders otherwise.

Parties or their legal representative are expected to appear in person at any review hearing.

Legislation and resources

Practice direction 4 of 2020 (PDF, 540.7 KB) regulates the case flow management of proceedings in the civil jurisdiction of the court in Brisbane.

The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (UCPR) prescribe time frames and other procedures for parties/practitioners to progress proceedings to a timely and cost-effective resolution.

Below is more detailed information about this legislation and practice direction

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules

Rule 5 of the UCPR provides that the purpose of the UCPR is to facilitate the just and expeditious resolution of the real issues in civil proceedings at a minimum of expense.

It also provides that, in a proceeding in a court, a party impliedly undertakes to the court and to the other parties to proceed in an expeditious way. If that is not done, the court may impose appropriate sanctions.

Practice direction 4 of 2020

The purpose of PD 4/2020 is to establish a system to facilitate the just and timely disposition of proceedings, by monitoring the progress of individual proceedings and intervening when a proceeding is not progressing satisfactorily.

PD 4/2020 applies to any civil proceedings instituted by claim in the Brisbane registry of the Supreme Court (and such other proceedings as the court or a judge may direct). It does not apply to proceedings on a separate case management list, for example the Supervised Case List, Commercial List, Wills and Estates List or the Supervised Case List for self-represented parties.

The case flow management system is based on an expectation that most proceedings will be ready for trial or otherwise resolved within 180 days of the filing of a notice of intention to defend, —or the last notice of intention to defend if there is more than one defendant. If that has not occurred, the court will initiate the case flow management process, to ensure steps are taken to prepare the proceeding for trial or to resolve the proceeding, with appropriate sanctions for non-compliance.

Case management notices and proposing plans

The process is started by the Registrar sending the parties a case flow management intervention notice (CFM1).

Where the notice is sent

Notices pursuant to PD 4/2020 will be sent to the email address provided by the party on the claim or defence or notice of address for service.

If no email address is provided, the first notice will be sent by mail to the address for service. A party receiving a notice from the case flow manager by mail must file a notice of address for service (Form 8) setting out an email address within 14 days of the date of issue of the notice.

All subsequent notices will be sent to the email address of the party.

Responding to the notice

Once an intervention notice (CFM1) has been sent, the parties are required to confer, and respond to the intervention notice by taking one of the steps set out in paragraph 5.3 of PD 4/2020, within 28 days of the notice, namely:

  1. if the matter has been resolved, filing a notice of discontinuance under rule 309 or
  2. if the matter has been settled, giving written notice that the proceeding has been settled under rule 308A or
  3. if the matter is ready for trial, filing a request for trial date under rule 467 or
  4. if the matter is not ready for trial, after consultation with the other parties, submitting a plan to facilitate the timely determination of the proceeding (in accordance with paragraph 6 of PD 4/2020).

Unless one of those steps is taken within 28 days of the notice, the Registrar will send the parties a second notice (CFM2) advising that the matter has been listed on a specified date for case flow review.

Proposing a plan

If the plan proposed by the parties is considered satisfactory to facilitate the timely determination of the matter, the case flow judge will approve the plan and make orders or directions in terms of the plan on the papers (that is, without requiring the parties to appear in court).

A satisfactory plan must be comprehensive, adapted to the particular case, and include specific dates for compliance. Matters the plan may address are set out in paragraph 6.1 of PD 4/2020.

If there is no response to CFM1, or no case flow plan proposed within the time prescribed or the proposed case flow plan is not considered satifactory, the proceeding will be listed for case flow review on the next available date. The parties or their legal representatives are expected to appear at such a review.

Currently, the case flow management judge is Justice Bowskill.

If the case settles

If at any time after a claim has been filed and served, the matter settles or is otherwise completed, other than by court order, the parties should notify the registry by either email to caseflowmanager@justice.qld.gov.au or letter.

This ensures that the file can be closed so the case flow management timetable no longer applies to the matter.

Enquiries

If you have any enquiries in relation to the case flow management system, they may be directed to the case flow manager at caseflowmanager@justice.qld.gov.au.