Litigation of issues across multiple jurisdictions involving the same subject matter and parties is becoming increasingly common, particularly in family law. It will often involve a careful analysis of which jurisdiction or Court is preferred and consideration of whether the issues or proceedings can be transferred or consolidated.
In a family law context it is becoming more common to see third parties, such as Mum or Dad or grandparents, seek repayment of monies they may have advanced to one or both parties or an argument that real estate is held “on trust” for a third party following separation. In these situations a third party may assert certain legal rights to pursue repayment of monies or declarations that the third party is the beneficial owner (real owner) of real estate. What follows is that multiple jurisdictions (or Courts) may have the jurisdiction to decide the issue e.g. Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and Supreme Court of New South Wales. Our previous article on “Accrued Jurisdiction” provides an overview on such jurisdiction existing between different Courts and can be found here – What is Jurisdiction and Accrued Jurisdiction?.
In these circumstances it is necessary to seek specialist advice about:-
1. Which jurisdiction (or Court) may be preferred to determine the issue;
2. Whether the issue can be cross-vested, or transferred, between jurisdictions (or Courts);
3. When and how to apply for a transfer of proceedings;
4. How to deal with different Judicial Officers in different Courts; and
5. What to do if the transfer does not succeed.
Dorter Family Lawyers and Mediators specialises in family law disputes that involve multiple areas of jurisdiction and/or multiple Courts. If you require any assistance with the above we can assist.
This post is an overview only and should not be considered as legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us on (02) 9929 8840.