Security procedures are quickly executed as the customers enter the Family Court. However, mindful of the fact that there is a potential for violence in relation to family matters, all persons accessing the Family Court must submit their bags, parcel and equipment for screening through the baggage scanners. It is mandatory that all electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, and cigarettes with lighters, glass bottles etc. should remain with security personnel. The Court’s Security will then direct persons to a Customer Service Representative (CSR). These CSR’s are located at the entrance of each floor of the Family Court, and their roles are to ensure that customers feel welcomed and are provided with the information they need for easy navigation through the court system.
Parties with Attorneys come to the court in the traditional way, in that Attorneys file High Court application on their behalf while parties who wish to make a magisterial application and are not represented by an attorney must see an Intake Officer who sets the tone for what is to follow.
The Intake Officer has wide knowledge about the kinds of issues that families face and the services that will best assist them in resolving their family matters. This Officer assists customers in determining which unit, person or agency will best suit their needs whether internal or external. Internally, customers may be directed to the Mediation Department. However, if they decide to have their matter heard by a Magistrate, they will be sent to a Case Management Officer who assists customers in drafting their applications. Once an application is completes and copies printed, the Officer is required to read to the customers all the information contained in the application including the hearing room and Judicial Officer to whom the matter is assigned, case number, the fate and the scheduled time to appear. The Family Court is the first and only court to date in the Caribbean, which provides this type of assistance to unrepresented persons.
In terms of the High Court applications, where persons are unrepresented, the Deputy Registrar and/or the Section Manger of the Court Office assists such persons in preparing their application.
In-house Marshal Assistants then assists in the efficient and timely service of all legal proceedings on behalf of the customers.