Urgent access to courts during the lockdown

Because of the Covid-19 crisis, access to our courts is limited to urgent and essential matters only.

Divorced and separated parents may be feeling desperate, angry and frustrated about losing their contact to their children during the lockdown. Whilst parents cannot lawfully break the curfew and move children from one home to another in terms of a parenting plan/court order/agreement, there may be circumstances – in the best interests of children – where you can approach the court for urgent relief. The courts will only entertain applications to enforce parenting orders if they are genuinely urgent.

Or you may be in a situation involving domestic violence or harassment.

To assist you with any urgent matter you may have, we offer a free 30-minute e-consultation, to provide advice on proceeding in urgent and/or essential matters. If you would like advice, please email info@bmalaw.co.za and we’ll put you in touch with one of our attorneys.

Whilst entry into the courts and court precincts is only allowed in respect of urgent and essential matters, heads of courts retain the discretion to authorise the hearing of matters through teleconference or videoconference or any other electronic mode, which dispenses with the necessity to be physically present in a courtroom.

  • Service of domestic violence protection orders
  • Service of protection from harassment orders
  • Service of process relating to claims which are prescribing
  • Service of urgent court process in family law matters
  • Removal of children in need of care and protection
  • Placement of children in child and youth care centres; and
  • International child abduction cases.

Except in the cases of genuine urgency, we should not be trying to find loopholes, but abide by the principle of lockdown in order quite literally to save lives.

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