‘Courting’ Trouble From Two Courts

A recent case before the Family Court concerned an application by the mother of two children seeking an order to restrain the father from prosecuting proceedings against a psychologist to restrain her from continuing to treat the children.

The proceedings were commenced in the Federal Circuit Court and an application was made to a Judge in that court in June 2015 when some consent orders were made in relation to family counselling or family therapy. The Judge, in that case, stated that the children had a good therapeutic relationship with the psychologist and she considered that it was not in the best interests of the children for the treatment to be ceased.

The father lodged an appeal to the Family Court and that appeal is yet to be determined. A hearing in the Hobart Magistrates court was to be heard on the day the Family Court was hearing the case.

The father indicated that he would give an undertaking to the court to withdraw his application to the Magistrates’ Court. The Judge noted that the application to the Magistrates court was an abuse of process and if the father genuinely believed that he had a further case to argue, that application should have been made to the Family court. The Judge further added that he would not act as a de facto appeal mechanism for the father in relation to that decision.

The Judge noted that as the Federal court judge had made it clear that the relationship between the children and the psychologist should continue and therefore the Judge sought an undertaking from the applicant that he would withdraw his application to the Magistrates court. He also made it clear that if the proceedings were not withdrawn then he would ensure that the proceedings be restored to him that day.


This article remains the property of Kate Austin Family Lawyers and can only provide basic information.  It is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. This information cannot be relied on as a substitute for legal information and it is only general by nature. This information was correct at the time of writing but changes in legislation or procedure may change.