A welcome practice note was issued just prior to Xmas by Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue.
The “practice note” can be viewed here for those interested in the details.
In essence, from 1 February 2012 Christchurch earthquake related claims will be given priority and additional court resources – staff, judges and courtrooms – allocated to them to achieve this.
The idea is to get an initial short trial no later than twenty working days after filing, or a judicial settlement conference case within twenty working days and the substantive hearing within fifty working days after filing.
Fifty working days for a full defended court hearing may still seem like long time to lay-people, but it is a lot quicker than normal court processes. The Chief District Court Judge and her staff are to be commended for the effort, assuming it bears fruit as intended.