Family Justice Courts Practice Directions

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Part XIII - General Procedure

72. Originating Summonses

(1) This paragraph applies to originating summonses filed on or after 1 January 2006.

Forms for originating summonses

(2) Solicitors’ attention is drawn to rule 327 of the Family Justice Rules which provides that no appearance need be entered to an originating summons.

(3) Where any legislation requires a party to file an originating summons and the form is not provided within the legislation, the originating summons must be filed using either Form 47 (Originating Summons) or Form 48 ( Ex Parte Originating Summons) of Appendix A of these Practice Directions.

(4) The parties in Form 47 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions shall be stated as “plaintiff” and “defendant”, or “appellant” and “respondent” as the case may be.

(5) The party in Form 48 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions shall be stated as “applicant”.

Originating summons to be heard in open Court

(6) Rule 506 of the Family Justice Rules provides that all originating summonses shall be heard in Chambers, subject to any provisions in the Family Justice Rules, written law, directions by the Court, or practice directions issued by the Registrar.

(7) In addition to any provisions in the Family Justice Rules or other written law, and subject to any further directions made by the Court, the Registrar hereby directs that the following applications made by originating summonses shall be heard in open Court:

(a) applications by the Public Trustee or any person interested in a property to appoint a receiver of property pending the grant of probate or letters of administration under section 39 of the Probate and Administration Act (Cap. 251).

73. Endorsements on originating processes and other documents

(1) Where it is necessary to include endorsements on any document, the directions in this paragraph shall apply.

(2) Endorsements are normally made on originating processes and other documents to show the renewal of, amendments to, and authorisation for service of, the document in question. Such endorsements on originating processes and other documents do not require the Registrar’s signature. This is because such endorsements are pursuant to either an order of Court or the Family Justice Rules. The Registrar should therefore not be asked to sign such endorsements.

(3) For documents that are filed through the Electronic Filing Service as electronic forms composed online, the following requirements apply:

(a) Solicitors should select the appropriate endorsement and check the accuracy of the electronic form in the preview stage before filing the originating process or other document. The acceptance by the Registry of electronic forms composed online does not affect the regularity of any endorsements on the document.

(b) Where endorsements can be made prior to the filing or issuance of a document, those endorsements shall be incorporated into the document before the document is filed or issued.

(c) Where endorsements must be made on a document which has already been filed or issued, a fresh copy of the document containing the relevant endorsements shall be prepared, and the document must be re-filed or re-issued, as the case may be. An example of this would be renewals of writs of summons.

74. Forms of documents to be filed for proceedings under Chapter 4A of Part X of the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353)

(1) An ex-parte originating summons for leave under section 121D of the Women’s Charter and rule 40 of the Family Justice Rules to file an application for financial relief under section 121B of the Women’s Charter shall be in Form 227 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(2) The plaintiff’s affidavit in support of the ex-parte originating summons for leave under section 121D of the Women’s Charter and rule 40 of the Family Justice Rules to file an application for financial relief under section 121B of the Women’s Charter shall be in Form 228 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(3) The plaintiff’s affidavit in support of the originating summons for financial relief under section 121B of the Women’s Charter shall be in Form 229 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

75. Distribution of applications

All applications in chambers (including summonses and originating summonses) shall be filed without specifying whether the application is to be heard before a Judge in person or the Registrar.

76. Summonses

(1) All interlocutory applications must be made by way of summons.

(2) Ordinary summonses shall be endorsed “ex parte” or “by consent” where applicable. When the summons is endorsed “ex parte”, it must bear a certificate to that effect signed by the solicitors for the applicant. When the summons is endorsed “by consent” and the respondent to the summons is unrepresented, the signature of that respondent with the following endorsement

“I acknowledge that I have considered the terms of the agreement and have also been informed of my right to seek independent legal advice.”

must be witnessed by an advocate and solicitor or a commissioner for oaths not acting for any of the parties in the proceedings.

(3) After the filing of any “ ex parte ” or “by consent” summons, the application will be examined by the Judge or Registrar as the case may be. If he is satisfied that the application is in order and all other requirements have been complied with, he may make the order(s) applied for on the day fixed for the hearing of the application without the attendance of the applicant or his solicitor.

(4) Summonses that are filed using the Electronic Filing Service will be routed to the inbox of the applicant solicitor’s Electronic Filing Service account. Where the summons is filed through the service bureau, it may be collected at the service bureau.

(5) Enquiries by telephone will not be entertained.

(6) Where a summons is filed in a matter for which a trial date has been fixed, the summons must be filed using the Electronic Filing Service with a special request informing the Registry of Family Justice Courts of the trial date(s).

77. Supporting Affidavits for Specific Applications

Originating Summons for leave to file Writ under section 94 of the Women’s Charter

(1) The affidavit supporting an application for leave under section 94 Women’s Charter must include the following information:

(a) The date and place of registration of marriage, exhibiting a copy of the marriage certificate;

(b) The age of the child (ren), if any, exhibiting a copy of the birth certificate(s);

(c) The grounds upon which the applicant is seeking leave, i.e. exceptional hardship suffered by the applicant or exceptional depravity by the respondent;

(d) Particulars of exceptional hardship or exceptional depravity including,

(i) If violence is alleged, to exhibit the police reports, medical reports, Personal Protection Orders, Domestic Exclusion Orders, and status of ongoing related family proceedings (if any); and

(e) Possibility of reconciliation between parties, including any attempts at reconciliation after each incident, and the period of each reconciliation attempt.

Summons for leave to file additional Ancillary Matters Affidavits

(2) An application for leave of court to file an additional affidavit in the ancillary matters shall be made by way of summons filed in the divorce suit, and supported with an affidavit demonstrating why a reply to the last round of affidavits is relevant and necessary to the resolution of the ancillary matters.

(3) The summons shall set out:

(a) The title and date of the affidavit to which the applicant wishes to respond; and

(b) The specific paragraphs of that affidavit which the applicant wishes to respond to.

(4) The supporting affidavit must exhibit a draft of the proposed additional affidavit.

(5) The supporting affidavit shall include the following information:

(a) the new matters raised in the specific paragraphs which the applicant wishes to respond to;

(b) whether the applicant had an earlier opportunity to address the court on these new matters raised; and

(c) the reasons why the applicant’s response would be relevant and material for the just disposition of the case.

Summons to vary child-related orders

(6) An application to vary child-related orders shall be made by way of summons filed in the suit in which the original order was made.

(7) In an application to vary the existing court order(s) on custody, care and control and/or access, the applicant must demonstrate by way of affidavit why it would be in the best interests and welfare of the child for the orders to be varied.

(8) The affidavit in support of the summons shall include the following (where relevant):

(a) the names, current ages and dates of birth of each child;

(b) the existing orders relating to custody, care and control and access;

(c) a table of past variations of custody, care and control and/or access (if any);

(d) the applicant’s proposed care plan for the child, including the proposed shelter and education-related arrangements;

(e) if the applicant intends to move overseas with the child after the order is varied, to state the proposed care plan and the proposed access arrangements for the parent left behind;

(f) if the applicant is an un-discharged bankrupt, an explanation how that party intends to financially provide for the child; and

(g) the applicant’s explanation why the proposed variation, instead of the status quo, would be in the best interests and welfare of the child.

(9) The applicant must file an affidavit that includes the matters set out in sub-paragraphs (7) and (8) above, even if the other party consents to the variation.

Summons to vary maintenance orders made under Part X of Women’s Charter

(10) Any application for variation of maintenance shall be by way of summons filed in the original suit under which the order was made.

(11) The summons shall set out :

(a) the date of the Order of Court sought to be varied, including the specific Paragraph(s) in the said Order of Court;

(b) the original quantum of maintenance and the quantum of maintenance now sought to be ordered (e.g. “the Plaintiff seeks a decrease in the monthly maintenance sum from $600 to $500”.)

(12) The affidavit in support of the summons shall include the following :

(a) The grounds on why a variation of maintenance is sought, including supporting documentary evidence (e.g. if a variation of maintenance is sought because of the termination of the applicant’s employment, the letter of termination should be exhibited in the affidavit);

(b) List of Expenses of the applicant and the child(ren) (where applicable), including supporting documentary evidence;

(c) A copy of the Order of Court to be varied;

(d) Copies of the applicant’s IRAS Notices of Assessment for the three years immediately preceding the filing of the application for variation of maintenance;

(e) Copies of the applicant’s pay slips for the six months immediately preceding the filing of the application for variation of maintenance; and

(f) Copies of the applicant’s bank statements for the three months immediately preceding the filing of the application for variation of maintenance.

78. Personal service of processes and documents

(1) The attention of solicitors is drawn to rule 898(1) of the Family Justice Rules which provides:

“Personal service must be effected by a process server of the Court or by a solicitor or a solicitor’s clerk whose name and particulars have been notified in the relevant Form to the Registrar for this purpose .” [ emphasis added ]

(2) Solicitors are required to notify the Registry of the particulars, and any change thereof, of such clerks who have been authorised by them to serve processes and documents (“authorised process servers”) by submitting a request to authorise user through the Electronic Filing Service. Where such authorised process servers are no longer so authorised, solicitors are to revoke or delete the authorisation immediately by submitting a request through the Electronic Filing Service. Solicitors’ clerks do not require the authorisation of the Registrar to effect personal service of processes and documents.

(3) In view of the alternative modes providing for personal service to be effected by a solicitor or a solicitor’s clerk, Court process servers will not be assigned to effect personal service of processes and documents unless there are special reasons.

(4) If it is felt that there are special reasons requiring personal service by a Court process server, a Request for such service should be filed through the Electronic Filing Service, setting out the special reasons. The approval of the Duty Registrar should then be obtained for such service. Once approval has been obtained, the documents for service should be presented at the counter designated for this purpose. A process server will then be assigned to effect service and an appointment for service convenient to both the litigant and the assigned process server will be given.

(5) On the appointed date, the person accompanying the process server should call at the Registry. The amount required for the transport charges of the process server (a record of which will be kept) should be tendered, or, alternatively, the process server in question should be informed that transport for him will be provided. The Registry will then instruct the process server to effect service.

(6) Under no circumstances should any payment be made directly to the process server.

79. Substituted and Dispensation of Service

(1) In any application for substituted service, the applicant should persuade the Court that the proposed mode of substituted service will bring the document in question to the notice of the person to be served.

Application for substituted service by way of posting on the front door at the defendant’s last known address in Singapore (“the address”)

(2) The applicant should, where appropriate, consider other modes of substituted service, such as AR registered post or electronic means (including electronic mail or Internet transmission) in addition to or in substitution of substituted service by posting on doors or gates of residential and business premises.

(3) Two reasonable attempts at personal service should be made before an application for an order for substituted service is filed. In an application for substituted service, the applicant shall file a supporting affidavit stating the dates, times and outcomes of the said attempts and why he or she believes that such attempts made were reasonable.

(4) If there is no response for both attempts at personal service (i.e. the door was locked and no one came to the door during both attempts), the plaintiff needs to state in the affidavit —

(a) the evidence that the defendant is currently residing at the address (for example, relevant search results from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, the Singapore Land Authority, the Housing & Development Board or the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority); and

(b) the grounds for the plaintiff’s belief that the defendant is currently residing at the address, for example, that the plaintiff is also residing at the same address, and sees the defendant every day.

(5) If the plaintiff is not able to state both of the matters set out in sub-paragraph (4)(a) and (b) above in the affidavit, he or she should make attempts to locate the defendant by contacting the defendant’s relatives, friends, and employer(s) (if any), in order to discover the address at which the defendant is currently residing. The affidavit should then include the following matters:

(a) details of the plaintiff’s last contact with the defendant, including the date, the mode of contact (i.e. over the telephone, a letter, or a meeting), and the contents of any communications made, whether written or oral;

(b) details of the plaintiff’s knowledge of the defendant’s relatives and friends, and those person(s)’ knowledge of his / her whereabouts (“the defendant’s contacts”), including their names, addresses and their relationship to the defendant and whether they live in Singapore or overseas;

(c) details of the plaintiff’s attempts to contact the defendant’s contacts, including the number of such attempts made, the dates and mode of the said attempts (i.e. whether by telephone, letter, or meeting), and the contents of any communications made, whether written or oral;

(d) the name and address of the defendant’s last known employer (if any), and the result of enquiries the plaintiff has made of that employer as to the defendant’s whereabouts, including the date of such enquiries, the mode of the said enquiries (i.e. whether by telephone, letter, or meeting), and the contents of any communications made, whether written or oral;

(e) details of the defendant’s nationality.

(6) If the local address at which the defendant is currently residing (not being the matrimonial home) is discovered by the plaintiff pursuant to paragraph (5) above, personal service on the defendant should be attempted at that address in accordance with paragraph (3). Details of the dates, times and outcomes of the personal service are required in the affidavit.

(7) If the response to the attempt at personal service is that the process server is told that the defendant “is overseas”, evidence is required in the affidavit as to what date the defendant will be back in the country.

(8) If it appears from the response to the attempt at personal service that the defendant is permanently overseas, evidence is required in the affidavit as to how the documents will come to the defendant’s attention by being posted on the front door.

(9) If the response to the attempt at personal service is that the defendant has “moved away”, and the plaintiff is alleging that the defendant is evading service, evidence is required in the affidavit to support the plaintiff’s belief that the defendant is evading service.

Application for substituted service by way of prepaid AR registered post / ordinary post

(10) An application for substituted service need not be made where an originating process is sent by prepaid AR registered post to the defendant, and the defendant returns the acknowledgement of service, signed by him, in accordance with rule 48(5) and rule 49(3) of the Family Justice Rules. In such a situation, the originating process would be deemed to be duly served on the defendant by registered post.

(11) On an application for substituted service by way of prepaid AR registered post / ordinary post, the plaintiff must state the following matters in the affidavit—

(a) the grounds for the plaintiff’s belief that the defendant is currently resident at the particular address in respect of which the plaintiff is applying for substituted service by way of prepaid AR registered post / ordinary post;

(b) if the application for substituted service by way of prepaid AR registered post / ordinary post is to an overseas address, that the defendant is not ordinarily resident in Singapore;

(12) For the avoidance of doubt, substituted service by prepaid AR registered post is deemed to be effective when the postal service has delivered the document, or attempted to deliver the document (in cases where no one is present or willing to accept the document).

Application for substituted service by way of email

(13) If substituted service is by electronic mail, it has to be shown that the electronic mail account to which the document will be sent belongs to the person to be served and that it is currently active.

Application for substituted service by way of advertisement

(14) Before an application for substituted service by way of advertisement can be granted, the plaintiff should make attempts to locate the defendant by contacting the defendant’s relatives, friends, and employer(s) (if any), in order to discover the address at which the defendant is currently residing.

(15) The affidavit must include the following:

(a) the matters set out in sub-paragraph (5)(a) to (e) above;

(b) details of the defendant’s literacy, and in what language;

(c) if the advertisement is to be placed in an overseas newspaper, the grounds for the plaintiff’s belief as to why the defendant is thought to be in that particular country.

(16) An application for substituted service by advertisement (in one issue of the Straits Times if the person to be served is literate in English, or one issue of the Straits Times and one issue of one of the main non-English language newspapers where his language literacy is unknown) should only be considered as a last resort and should contain evidence that the person to be served is literate in the language of the newspaper in which the advertisement will be placed.

Application for dispensation of service

(17) Before an application for dispensation of service can be granted, the plaintiff should make attempts to locate the defendant by contacting the defendant’s relatives, friends, and employer(s) (if any), in order to discover the address at which the defendant is currently residing.

(18) The affidavit must include the following:

(a) the matters set out in sub-paragraph (5)(a) to (e) above;

(b) an explanation as to why advertisement would not be effective in bringing the divorce proceedings to the defendant’s notice (for example, that it is not known which country the defendant is currently residing in).

(19) For the avoidance of doubt, posting on the Notice Board of the Registry of the Family Justice Courts is not available as a proposed mode of substituted service.

80. Discovery, inspection and interrogatories in respect of ancillary relief or financial relief under Women’s Charter

(1) Inspection of documents

(a) The notice to be served on a party requiring him to produce any document or documents for inspection under rule 65(1) of the Family Justice Rules shall be in Form 231 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(b) The notice to be served by a party (on whom a notice under rule 65(1) of the Family Justice Rules has been served) under rule 65(2) of the Family Justice Rules shall be in Form 232 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(2) Request or application for discovery and interrogatories

(a) In any application for discovery, inspection and interrogatories in respect of ancillary relief, the particular rule, paragraph and sub-paragraph (where applicable) of the Family Justice Rules under which the application is being taken out shall be stated in the application.

(b) A request for discovery under rule 63(4) of the Family Justice Rules shall be in Form 233 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions, and a notice under rule 63(5) of the Family Justice Rules in response to the request for discovery shall be in Form 234 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(c) An application for discovery under rule 63(1) to (3) of the Family Justice Rules shall be in Form 237 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(d) A request for interrogatories under rule 69(1) of the Family Justice Rules shall be in Form 235 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions, and a notice under rule 69(3) of the Family Justice Rules in response to the request for interrogatories shall be in Form 236 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(e) An application for interrogatories under rule 69(5) to (6) of the Family Justice Rules shall be in Form 238 in Appendix A.

(f) If more than 5 items are listed in the request (under rule 63(4) or 69(1) of the Family Justice Rules) or application (under rule 63(1) to (3) or rule 69(5) to (6) of the Family Justice Rules) for discovery or interrogatories, the request or application, as the case may be, shall comply with the following requirements:

(i) The various items under the request or application shall be organised by theme or type (for example, all items relating to bank accounts to be grouped together, all requests relating to companies to be grouped together, all items relating to a particular property to be grouped together). Each group of items under a particular theme or type shall be preceded by a heading.

(ii) If there are more than 5 sub-items within each item (for example, if bank statements in relation to more than 5 accounts with the same bank are requested), the sub-items shall be organised in either chronological, numerical, or alphabetical order, or alternatively, by themes (for example, all the sub-items relating to housing loan accounts to be listed together, all the sub-items relating to fixed deposits to be listed together).

(iii) The time-frame requested for each discovery item shall be stated (where relevant) (for example, if bank statements for a certain bank account are requested, to state which year(s) and / or month(s) the statements are requested for).

(iv) The relevant paragraphs and pages in the affidavit(s) relating to the item shall be stated for each item and sub-item, where applicable. (v) If discovery of bank, trading or investment account statements are being requested, then the relevant account numbers (if known) shall be set out.

(g) A request (under rule 63(4) of the Family Justice Rules) or application (under rule 63(1) to (3) of the Family Justice Rules) for discovery and a request (under rule 69(1) of the Family Justice Rules) or application (under rule 69(5) to (6) of the Family Justice Rules) for interrogatories have to be filed through the separate prescribed templates in the Electronic Filing Service.

81. Applications for electronic discovery

(1) This Part provides an opt-in framework for requests and applications for the giving of discovery and inspection of electronically stored documents, and the supply of electronic copies of such documents. A party that seeks to rely on this Part must cite the relevant paragraph(s) in any request or application made hereunder.

Location of electronically stored documents

(2) Electronically stored documents may reside in storage management systems, folders or directories in storage locations, electronic media or recording devices, including folders or directories where temporarily deleted files are located (for example, the Recycle Bin folder or Trash folder). Electronically stored documents or parts thereof may also reside in the unallocated file space or file slack on an electronic medium or recording device as deleted files or file fragments which may be recovered through the use of computer forensic tools or techniques.

Definition of metadata information

(3) Metadata information refers to the non-visible and not readily apparent information embedded in or associated with electronically stored documents and may include both application metadata, which is created by the application software used to create the electronic documents, and system metadata, which is created by the operating or storage system. Examples of application metadata include hidden columns or text, formatting and display codes, formulae, prior edits and editorial comments; examples of system metadata include data relating to creation, modification and access of the electronic document, its size, file format and storage location, and other document profile information like title, author, subject and keywords or tags. Metadata information may be stored internally within the electronically stored document or externally in a separate file or database. Externally stored metadata information shall be discoverable as separate documents.

Time to consider electronic discovery issues during general discovery

(4) Parties are encouraged to collaborate in good faith and agree on issues relating to the discovery and inspection of electronically stored documents within the framework for discovery set forth in Part 18 Division 19 of the Family Justice Rules. Such issues may include the scope and/or any limits on documents to be given in discovery, whether parties are prepared to make voluntary disclosures, and the giving of discovery in stages according to an agreed schedule, as well as the format and manner in which copies of discoverable documents shall be supplied.

(5) Parties may, immediately after the close of pleadings, agree on an electronic discovery protocol which may take the form set forth in Appendix B Part 1. Parties may include the agreed electronic discovery protocol in the summons for directions. The Court shall consider the adequacy of the agreed electronic discovery protocol and may make such order or give such direction as it thinks fit, for the just, expeditious and economical disposal of the cause or matter. The agreed electronic discovery protocol, as amended by such order or direction of the Court as the case may be, shall form part of the order under the summons for directions to be extracted for the action.

(6) If parties are unable to agree on an electronic discovery protocol, the party seeking discovery of electronically stored documents may apply for an order. The application must include a draft electronic discovery protocol and must be supported by affidavit providing an account of the parties’ attempts to collaborate in good faith to reach agreement on an electronic discovery protocol.

Requests for discovery

(7) A request for discovery of any electronically stored document or class of electronically stored documents may be made before the commencement of proceedings, or at any time to any party to a cause or matter, or any person who is not a party to the proceedings. Unless the request specifies that discovery of externally stored metadata information of the requested electronically stored documents is required, the party providing discovery shall not be required to discover externally stored metadata information.

(8) A class of electronically stored documents may be described by specifying or describing a search term or phrase to be used in a reasonable search for electronically stored documents. A request for the giving of discovery by reasonable search must specify or describe limits on the scope of the search; such limits shall include at least the following:

(a) specifying or describing physical or logical storage locations, media or devices; and

(b) specifying the period during which the requested electronically stored documents were created, received or modified.

(9) A request shall not be made for the discovery of deleted files or file fragments containing information which may be recovered through the use of computer forensic tools or techniques unless:

(a) a request is made for the discovery of the electronic medium or recording device on which a forensic inspection is to be conducted; and

(b) a request is made for inspection of the said electronic medium or recording device in compliance with sub-paragraph (21) to (27).

Applications for discovery

(10) An application for discovery of any electronically stored document or class of electronically stored documents which includes externally stored metadata information must be supported by an affidavit showing that a request for externally stored metadata information of the requested electronically stored document or class of electronically stored documents had been made previously.

(11) An application for discovery of any electronically stored document or class of electronically stored documents which specifies or describes a search term or phrase to be used in a reasonable search for electronically stored documents must specify or describe limits on the scope of the search to be conducted.

(12) An application for the discovery of a computer database, electronic medium or recording device may be made together with an application for inspection of the said computer database, electronic medium or recording device in accordance with sub- paragraph (21) to (27).

(13) Upon the hearing of an application for an order for discovery of electronically stored documents, the Court shall have regard to the matters set forth in sub-paragraph (15).

(14) Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the party giving discovery from reviewing the discoverable electronically stored documents or the results of any reasonable search for the purpose of identifying privileged documents. However, such review for the purpose of identifying privileged documents shall not extend to the deletion, removal or alteration of metadata information.

Matters to which regard shall be had in determining whether discovery or inspection is necessary

(15) Rules 468 and 474 of the Family Justice Rules states that an order for discovery and production of documents for inspection shall not be made unless such order is necessary either for disposing fairly of the cause or matter or for saving costs. The matters to which regard shall be had, in determining whether an application for discovery or inspection (including the supply of copies) of electronically stored documents is necessary either for disposing fairly of the cause or matter or for saving costs, shall include:

(a) the number of electronic documents involved; (b) the nature of the case and complexity of the issues; (c) the value of the claim and the financial position of each party; (d) the ease and expense of retrieval of any particular electronically stored document or class of electronically stored documents, including —

(i) the accessibility, location and likelihood of locating any relevant documents,

(ii) the costs of recovering and giving discovery and inspection of any relevant documents,

(iii) the likelihood that any relevant documents will be materially altered in the course of recovery, or the giving of discovery or inspection; and

(e) the significance of any particular electronically stored document or class of electronically stored documents which are likely to be located to the issues in dispute.

Form of list

(16) The following matters shall be included in any list of documents made pursuant to the giving of discovery in accordance with this Part in which electronic documents are enumerated:

(a) the name of the electronic file constituting or containing the electronic document; and

(b) the file format (and its version) of the electronic document.

(17) Where the party giving discovery objects to the production of certain discoverable electronically stored documents solely on the ground that the internally stored metadata information is protected by privilege, he must state in the list of documents whether he objects to the production of the electronic documents without the internally stored metadata information. If he does not object to the production of the electronic documents without the internally stored metadata information, he must enumerate the electronic documents in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the list of documents. In any event, he must enumerate such documents in a separate section in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the list of documents and shall state that he objects to the production of the whole or part of the internally stored metadata information of these documents.

(18) Reasonable efforts shall be made to remove duplicated documents from the list of documents. A document shall be considered a duplicate of another if the contents of both (including metadata information) are identical. The use of a hashing function to identify duplicates shall be deemed to be reasonable effort.

(19) If copies of electronic documents are supplied in one or more read-only optical disc(s) or other storage medium, the party giving discovery shall provide a further list, at the time when such copies are supplied, stating the following:

(a) the storage format (and its version) of the optical disc or storage medium; and

(b) if there are multiple optical discs or storage media, a list of electronic documents stored on each optical disc or storage medium.

(20) An index of documents enumerated in a list of documents referred to in sub-paragraph (16) or (19) above shall be provided in an electronic, text searchable and structured format. In the absence of parties’ agreement, this index or load file shall be provided in a delimited text file in the Comma Separated Value (or ‘CSV’) file format.

Inspection of electronically stored documents

(21) A party required to produce electronically stored documents for inspection under Part 18 Division 19 of the Family Justice Rules shall provide reasonable means and assistance for the party entitled to inspection to inspect the electronically stored documents in their native format.

(22) Where an inspection is carried out under rule 470, 471 or 472(1) of the Family Justice Rules and the inspecting party wishes to take copies of electronically stored documents produced for inspection, his request to take copies shall comply with the protocol set forth in sub-paragraphs (28) to (33).

Inspection of computer databases and electronic media or recording devices

(23) No request or application for the inspection of any computer database, electronic medium or recording device shall be made unless discovery of the computer database, electronic medium or recording device has been given.

(24) A request may be made for the inspection of an electronic medium or recording device (for which discovery has been given) for the purpose of recovering deleted electronic documents through the conduct of a forensic examination of the unallocated file space or file slack of the electronic medium or recording device using computer forensic tools or techniques.

(25) Where an application under rule 472(2) is made for the inspection of computer databases, electronic media or recording devices for which discovery has been given, the party seeking inspection shall include in his application an inspection protocol, which may take the form found in Appendix B Part 2, in order to ensure that the party entitled to inspection has access only to electronic documents that are necessary and is not allowed to trawl through the entire database, electronic media or recording device.

(26) Upon the hearing of an application for an order for the inspection of computer databases, electronic media or recording devices, the Court shall have regard to the matters set forth in sub-paragraph (15). The Court shall have the power to review the adequacy of an inspection protocol and may make such order or give such direction as it thinks fit, for the just, expeditious and economical disposal of the cause or matter.

(27) Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the party producing computer databases, electronic media or recording devices for inspection from reviewing the discoverable electronically stored documents or the results of any reasonable search for the purpose of identifying privileged documents. However, such review for the purpose of identifying privileged documents shall not extend to the deletion, removal or alteration of metadata information.

Supply of copies of electronically stored documents

(28) Copies of discoverable electronically stored documents shall generally be supplied in the native format in which the requested electronic documents are ordinarily maintained and in one or more read-only optical disc(s).

(29) Metadata information internally stored in the native format of discoverable electronically stored documents shall not be deleted, removed or altered without the agreement of the parties or an order of Court. Where the party giving discovery objects to the production for inspection of certain discoverable electronically stored documents solely on the ground that the internally stored metadata information is protected by privilege, but does not object to the production of the electronic documents without the internally stored metadata information, copies of such documents may be supplied in a reasonably usable format with all or such of the metadata information over which privilege is claimed removed.

Requests for the supply of copies

(30) A request for copies of discoverable electronically stored documents may specify the format and manner in which such copies are to be supplied. If the party giving discovery does not agree with the specified format or manner or both, he may either:

(a) propose a reasonably usable format and/or storage medium and/or a reasonable manner in which he intends to supply copies of the requested electronic documents; or

(b) in default of agreement, supply copies of the requested electronic documents in accordance with sub-paragraph (1).

(31) The party giving discovery shall not be required to supply copies of electronically stored documents in more than one format.

(32) The file format versions set forth in Appendix B Part 3 shall be deemed to be reasonably usable formats for the purpose of this paragraph.

Applications for the supply of copies

(33) Applications for the supply of copies of discoverable electronically stored documents shall specify the format and manner in which copies of such electronic documents are to be supplied.

Restriction on use of privileged document, inspection of which has been inadvertently allowed

(34) Rule 479 of the Family Justice Rules applies to the giving of discovery or inspection of electronically stored documents, including the supply of copies, as it would to the giving of discovery or inspection of any other document.

Costs

(35) Except for orders made in respect of third party or pre-action discovery, the costs of complying with an order for the giving of discovery or inspection of electronically stored documents shall generally be borne by the party giving discovery; and disbursements incurred in providing copies shall be reimbursed by the party requesting for copies.

(36) The Court may invoke its inherent powers under rules 958 and 959 of the Family Justice Rules to make or give such further orders or directions incidental or consequential to any order as may be necessary, to order the party entitled to discovery to bear the whole or a portion of the costs of compliance with such order for the giving of discovery or inspection of electronically stored documents, and the supply of copies, if such order is necessary to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the process of the Court.

82. Applications for discovery or interrogatories against network service providers

(1) This Paragraph applies to an application made under rule 467(1) or rule 495(1) of the Family Justice Rules —

(a) by or on behalf of an owner or exclusive licensee of copyright material against a network service provider for information relating to the identity of a user of the network service provider’s primary network who is alleged to have infringed the copyright in the material in relation to an electronic copy of the material on, or accessible through, the network service provider’s primary network; or

(b) by or on behalf of the performer of a performance against a network service provider for information relating to the identity of a user of the network service provider’s primary network who is alleged to have made an unauthorised use of the performance in relation to an electronic recording of the material on, or accessible through, the network service provider’s primary network.

(2) An application referred to in sub-paragraph (1) shall —

(a) be made in Form 47 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions; and

(b) when made in accordance with sub-paragraph (2)(a), be fixed for hearing within 5 days from the date of filing of the application.

(3) The onus shall lie on the applicant to highlight the nature of the application to the Registry and to request that the application be fixed for hearing within 5 days.

(4) In sub-paragraph (1)(a), the words “electronic copy”, “material”, “network service provider” and “primary network” have the same meanings as in section 193A(1) of the Copyright Act (Cap 63).

(5) In sub-paragraph (1)(b), the words “electronic recording”, “network service provider”, “performance” and “primary network” have the same meanings as in section 246(1) of the Copyright Act (Cap 63).

83. Ex parte applications for injunctions

(1) Rule 516 of the Family Justice Rules provides that an application for the grant of an injunction may be made ex parte in cases of urgency. However, the cases of Castle Fitness Consultancy Pte Ltd v Manz [1989] SLR 896 ‘ The Nagasaki Spirit(No.1) [1994] 1 SLR 434 take the position that an opponent to an ex parte application, especially where the application seeks injunctive relief, should be invited to attend at the hearing of the application.

(2) In view of this, any party applying ex parte for an injunction (including a Mareva injunction) must give notice of the application to the other concerned parties prior to the hearing. The notice may be given by way of facsimile transmission or the use of any other electronic means (including electronic mail or Internet transmission), or, in cases of extreme urgency, orally by telephone. Except in cases of extreme urgency or with the leave of the Court, the party shall give a minimum of two hours’ notice to the other parties before the hearing. The notice should inform the other parties of the date, time and place fixed for the hearing of the application and of the nature of the relief sought. If possible, a copy of the originating process, the ex parte summons and supporting affidavit(s) should be given to each of the other parties in draft form as soon as they are ready to be filed in Court. At the hearing of the ex parte application, in the event that some or all of the other parties are not present or represented, the applicant’s solicitors should inform the Court of:

(a) the attempts that were made to notify the other parties or their solicitors of the making of the application;

(b) what documents were given to the other parties or their solicitors and when these documents were given; and

(c) whether the other parties or their solicitors consent to the application being heard without their presence.

(3) The Directions set out in sub-paragraph (2) need not be followed if the giving of the notice to the other parties, or some of them, would or might defeat the purpose of the ex parte application. However, in such cases, the reasons for not following the Directions should be clearly set out in the affidavit prepared in support of the ex parte application.

84. Mareva injunctions

(1) Applicants for Mareva injunctions are required to prepare their orders in accordance with the following forms in Appendix A:

(a) Form 239: Worldwide Mareva injunction; and

(b) Form 240: Mareva injunction limited to assets within the jurisdiction.

When composing the summons electronic form online through the Electronic Filing Service, these Forms shall be prepared in Portable Document Format (PDF) and attached to the summons electronic form for an Order of Court in Form 4 or 118 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(2) These forms, inevitably, are complicated, but their language and layout are intended to make it easier for persons served with these orders to understand what they mean. These standard form orders should be used save to the extent that the Judge hearing a particular application considers there is a good reason for adopting a different form. Any departure from the terms of the prescribed forms should be justified by the applicant in his supporting affidavit(s).

(3) The applicant should undertake not to inform any third party of the proceedings until after the return date.

(4) Wherever practicable, applications should be made sufficiently early so as to ensure that the Judge has sufficient time to read and consider the application in advance.

(5) On an ex parte application for a Mareva injunction, an applicant may be required, in an appropriate case, to support his cross-undertaking in damages by a payment to be made into Court, a bond to be issued by an insurance company with a place of business within Singapore, a written guarantee to be issued from a bank with a place of business within Singapore or a payment to the applicant’s solicitor to be held by the solicitor as an officer of the Court pending further order.

85. Documents in support of ex parte applications for injunctions (including Mareva injunctions)

(1) Without prejudice to the requirements stated in Paragraphs 83 and 84 of these Practice Directions, in order to assist the Court hearing ex parte applications for injunctions (including Mareva injunctions), an applicant must include in the affidavit prepared in support of the application the following information under clearly defined headings:

(a) reason(s) the application is taken out on an ex parte basis, including whether the applicant believes that there is a risk of dissipation of assets, destruction of evidence or any other prejudicial conduct;

(b) urgency of the application (if applicable), including whether there is any particular event that may trigger the dissipation of assets, destruction of evidence or any other prejudicial conduct;

(c) factual basis for the application, including the basis of any belief that there will be dissipation of assets, destruction of evidence or any other prejudicial conduct, whether there have been any past incidents of the opponent dissipating assets, destroying evidence or engaging in any other prejudicial conduct, and whether there is any evidence of dishonesty or bad faith of the opponent;

(d) factual basis for any reasonable defences that may be relied on by the opponent;

(e) whether the applicant is aware of any issues relating to jurisdiction, forum non conveniens or service out of jurisdiction, and. if so, whether any application relating to these issues has been or will be made;

(f) an undertaking to pay for losses that may be caused to the opponent or other persons by the granting of the orders sought, stating what assets are available to meet that undertaking and to whom the assets belong; and : (g) any other material facts which the Court should be aware of.

(2) An applicant must prepare skeletal submissions on the points to be raised at the hearing of the ex parte application. At the hearing, the applicant shall give a copy of the skeletal submissions to the Court and to any opponent present. The applicant shall file the skeletal submissions by the next working day.

(3) The Court may also require the applicant to prepare a note of the hearing setting out the salient points and arguments canvassed before the Court and may order such a note to be served together with the court documents on any opponent who is not present at the hearing or within a reasonable time after the service of the court documents.

86. Case conferences

(1) Pre-trial conferences known as case conferences will be conducted for proceedings under:—

(a) Guardianship of Infants Act;

(b) Inheritance (Family Provision) Act;

(c) International Child Abduction Act;

(d) Intestate Succession Act;

(e) Legitimacy Act;

(f) Mental Capacity Act;

(g) Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act;

(i) Status of Children (Assisted Reproduction Technology) Act 2013;

(j) Section 17A(2) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act;

(k) Voluntary Sterilization Act

(l) Section 59 and Part X Women’s Charter; and

(m) Probate and Administration Act

before a hearing date is given. Notification of the Case Conference shall be Form 241 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(2) At the case conference, the matters to be considered include the following, where applicable:

(a) the service of documents;

(b) the likelihood of settlement of the contested issues;

(c) the ages of the child / children of the marriage;

(d) directions for parties to attend with counsel;

(e) for parties to attend mandatory counselling and mediation at the Family Justice Courts;

(f) the dates of the mediation and counselling sessions;

(g) directions on the conduct of mediation and counselling;

(h) the witnesses who will be called and whether they need interpretation;

(i) the filing of affidavits, reports, summonses and any other necessary documents;

(j) the necessity (if any) for an order for the Central Provident Fund Board to furnish information relating to the utilisation of CPF monies or CPF account balances where there is a claim for the division of a matrimonial property or CPF-related assets;

(k) the necessity (if any) to transfer the proceedings to the Family Division of the High Court for hearing and determination. In determining whether to transfer the case to the Family Division of the High Court, the Family Court will take into account whether:

(i) there is an important question of law;

(ii) the matter is a test case; and/or

(iii) there is any other sufficient reason to transfer the proceedings;

(l) the value of the property in question or matrimonial assets. Generally, in a case where the property in question or matrimonial assets are asserted by any party to the proceedings to be worth a gross value of $5 million or more, the matter will be transferred to the Family Division of the High Court for hearing and determination;

(m) the number of days required for the hearing and the fixing of hearing dates; and

(n) the administrative arrangements for the next hearing (e.g. whether interpreters are required, etc.).

(3) The principal solicitors having conduct of the case are to personally attend the case conference. They are expected to be thoroughly prepared to discuss all relevant matters as the Registrar conducting the case conference will take a holistic approach tothe case and consider all relevant matters relating to the case.

(4) Solicitors should ensure that their clients are fully informed of the option of using alternative dispute resolution before attending the case conference. They are expected to advise their clients and to take instructions on the desirability of referring the dispute for mediation and / or counselling.

(5) The following sub-paragraphs shall apply in matrimonial proceedings under Part X of the Women’s Charter where any of the ancillary relief claimed is contested and section 17A(2) of the Supreme Court Judicature Act.

(a) The parties or their counsel attending the case conference shall ensure that all affidavits, reports, Ancillary Matters Fact and Position Sheet in Form 242 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions and any other necessary documents have been filed and all interlocutory applications and appeals therefrom have been dealt with before seeking a date for the hearing of the ancillary matters.

(b) Where the contested ancillary matters include the division of matrimonial assets, the parties or their counsel shall, upon the direction of the court, file the in Form 243 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions stating the contested issues, the net value of the matrimonial assets as at the date of the Declaration, the status of the proceedings.

(c) At any time before the commencement of the hearing of the contested ancillary matters, where it is necessary to do so, the parties or their counsel may, upon the direction of the court, file another in Form 243 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(6) In proceedings under the Guardianship of Infants Act,

(a) where the parties are or were married under the provisions of Muslim law or are Muslims, both parties shall notify the Family Justice Courts Registry, by way of a letter in the prescribed format in Form 244 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions, a day before each hearing as to whether proceedings involving the same parties have been commenced in the Syariah Court.

87. Attendance at hearings in the Family Justice Courts

(1) For the avoidance of doubt, the general rule is that all hearings in a Family Justice Court shall be heard in camera pursuant to section 10(1) of the Family Justice Act. Members of the public are not entitled to attend such hearings.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) above, a Family Justice Court may hear any matter in an open and public court to which the public generally may have access, if the Court is satisfied that it is expedient in the interests of justice, or for other sufficient reason to do so. Such matters include but are not limited to:-

(a) trial or hearings for proceedings under section 105 and 106 of the Women’s Charter;

(b) uncontested trials or hearings for proceedings under section 95 and 101 of the Women’s Charter which were adjourned from chambers to Open Court; and

(c) mentions for proceedings under Part VII and VIII of the Women’s Charter.

(3) Subject to any written law, the Court may, in its discretion, permit interested persons, such as instructing solicitors, and parties to the matter, to attend hearings in a Family Justice Court. In exercising its discretion, the Court may consider a broad range of factors including —

(a) the interest that the person seeking permission has in the matter before the Court;

(b) the interests of the litigants;

(c) the reasons for which such permission is sought; and

(d) the Court’s interest in preserving and upholding its authority and dignity.

(4) In granting interested persons the permission to attend hearings in a Family Justice Court, the Court may, in its discretion, impose the necessary conditions to be complied with.

88. Electronic filing of documents and authorities for use in Court

(1) Subject to any Directions in this Part to the contrary, in particular Paragraph 90(3), all bundles of documents, bundles of authorities, bundles of pleadings, bundles of affidavits, all other bundles, and all opening statements for proceedings which have been commenced using the Electronic Filing Service must be filed in Court using the Electronic Filing Service.

(2) In the event that it is not possible to file the documents in advance of the hearing, counsel may apply to the Judge or Registrar conducting the hearing for leave to use paper documents during the hearing. The paper documents may be printed on one side or both sides of each paper. The solicitor must explain why it was not possible to file the documents in advance of the hearing, and must give an undertaking to file using the Electronic Filing Service all the documents used at the hearing by the next working day after the hearing. Any document not filed using the Electronic Filing Service will not be included in the Court’s case file.

(3) Notwithstanding anything else in this Paragraph, in the event that a party chooses to use bundles of authorities in paper form for a hearing, the directions in this sub-paragraph shall apply:

(a) The party using the paper copy of the bundle of authorities shall bear the onus of producing the bundle at every hearing at which it is required. The Court will neither retain nor undertake to produce for hearings the paper copy of the bundle.

(b) The party using the paper copy of the bundle of authorities should file through the Electronic Filing Service a list of authorities to be used at least one clear day in advance of the hearing. In the event that it is not possible for the party to do so, he must explain to the Judge or Registrar conducting the hearing why it was not possible for him to do so and must also undertake to file the list of authorities using the Electronic Filing Service by the next working day after the hearing.

(c) The Judge or Registrar may, if he so chooses, retain the paper copy of the bundle of authorities for his own reference. The paper copy so retained will not however form part of the Court’s record in respect of the proceedings in which it was used.

(4) Counsel must adhere to the following directions when preparing bundles of authorities for use in Court:

(a) The bundle of authorities shall contain all the authorities, cases, statutes, subsidiary legislation and any other materials relied on; (b) The bundle of authorities shall have a table of contents immediately after the first title page. Where the bundle of authorities consists of more than one volume, each volume shall have a table of contents clearly indicating the authorities that are contained in that volume; (c) The items in the table of contents shall be numbered sequentially, and bound in the order in which they are listed;

(d) The table of contents shall contain a concise statement of the relevance of each authority to the specific issues before the Court. The relevance of each authority shall be succinctly expressed and comprise no more than 3 sentences. The statement shall be set out immediately after the name of the case. For example:

Rickshaw Investments Ltd and another v Nicolai Baron von Uexkull [2007] 1 SLR(R) 377

Relevance: Choice of law considerations are relevant even when determining the natural forum to hear a dispute.

(e) be properly bound with plastic ring binding or plastic spine thermal binding in accordance with the requirements set out in paragraph 90(8)(c);

(f) be paginated consecutively at the top right hand corner of each page (for which purpose the pagination should commence on the first page of the first bundle and run sequentially to the last page of the last bundle); and

(g) be appropriately flagged for easy reference.

(5) The Court may reject bundles of authorities which are not in compliance with sub- paragraph (4) above, and in exercising its discretion as to costs, take such non- compliance into account.

(6) Where electronic bundles of authorities are filed through the Electronic Filing Service, the following shall apply:

(a) A bookmark should be created in the Portable Document Form (PDF) file for each authority in the bundle.

(b) The name given to each bookmark should be the same as the table of contents.

(c) The page number of each printed bundle must correspond to the page number in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version of that bundle. Each separate bundle of documents shall start at page 1 and every page shall be numbered consecutively.

89. Bundle of Documents filed on setting down

(1) Rule 566 of the Family Justice Rules requires a bundle containing certain documents to be filed together with the notice for setting down. The documents in the bundle should be included in the order in which these appear in rule 566(1):

Filing documents when setting down

(1) The party setting down an action for trial must file with the Registrar a notice for setting down an action for trial in Form 119 together with a bundle for the use of the Judge consisting of one copy of each of the following documents:

(a) the writ;

(b) the pleadings (including any affidavits ordered to stand as pleadings), any notice or order for particulars and the particulars given; and

(c) all orders made on the summons for directions.

(2) In addition, parties should endeavour to file a core bundle of documents. This core bundle should comprise only documents that are relevant to the hearing in question, or which will be referred to in the course of the hearing.

(3) These documents must be prepared in an electronic format. If there are other documents, the relevance of which is uncertain, these documents should be included and any objections taken before the trial Judge.

Directions for electronic creation and filing of bundles of documents

(4) The following directions shall apply to the filing of bundles:

(a) Index pages shall be prepared. Bookmarks should be created in the Portable Document Format (PDF) file for each such reference in the index. There should be as many book-marks in that PDF file as there are references in the index to documents in that PDF file.

(b) The name given to each bookmark should be the same as the corresponding reference in the index.

(c) The various PDF documents should be arranged chronologically or in some logical order.

(d) The page number of each bundle of documents must correspond to the page number in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version of that bundle. Each separate bundle of documents shall start at page 1 and every page shall be numbered consecutively.

(5) For proceedings using the Electronic Filing Service, a bundle of documents may be created online and filed through the Electronic Filing Service. The electronic bundle shall be created in Portable Document Format (PDF). The electronic bundle may contain:

(a) documents in the electronic case file; and

(b) documents that have been uploaded into the electronic case file by solicitors or other persons given access to the shared folder in the electronic case file.

90. Documents for use in trials

(1) This Paragraph shall apply to trials of —

(a) writ actions; and

(b) originating summonses ordered to be continued as if the cause of action had been begun by writ.

(2) Rule 567 of the Family Justice Rules requires the originals of the affidavits of the evidence-in-chief of all witnesses and a bundle of documents to be filed not less than 5 working days before the trial of an action. This Paragraph prescribes the contents and the format of the bundle of documents. In addition, to improve the conduct of family proceedings and to reduce the time taken in the presentation of cases in Court, the following documents shall also be prepared by the respective solicitors of the parties:

(a) a bundle of authorities; and

(b) an opening statement.

Documents which need not be filed electronically

(3) Paragraphs 88, 89(2) to (6) of these Practice Directions do not apply to the documents that are filed in Court pursuant to the provisions of rule 567(1) of the Family Justice Rules. Such documents may be tendered to the Registry in hardcopy together with an electronic copy stored on a CD-ROM in PDF format and complying with the provisions of this Paragraph.

(4) Any court fees payable, pursuant to Part 19 of the Family Justice Rules, on filing the documents in this Paragraph, shall be payable at the stamp office. Parties should, when making payment at the stamp office, indicate to the cashier the precise number of pages which comprise the documents and comply with the provisions of Paragraph 157 of these Practice Directions.

(5) It is emphasised that payment of the court fees on such documents should be made before the documents are tendered to Court in compliance with rule 567 of the Family Justice Rules. The hardcopy of documents tendered to Court should show, on the front page, the amount of court fees paid on the document.

(6) The electronic copy must tally in all respects with the hardcopy, as it will be uploaded into the case file by the Registry staff and will form part of the electronic case file. The importance of not submitting unnecessarily large electronic files is emphasised. To this end, parties are to adhere as far as possible to the guidelines set out on the Electronic Filing Service website (currently at http://www.elitigation.sg), or its equivalent as may be set up from time to time, on the resolution to be used when scanning documents into PDF format.

(7) In the event that parties elect to electronically file such documents, they must nevertheless tender a bundle of these documents to the Family Registry in hard copy. It shall not be necessary to pay any additional court fees in respect of the hard copy in such circumstances.

Bundle of documents

(8) The bundle of documents required to be filed by rule 567 of the Family Justice Rules should be paginated consecutively throughout at the top right hand corner and may be printed on one side or both sides of each page.

(a) An index of contents of each bundle in the manner and form set out in Form 205 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions must also be furnished. No bundle of documents is necessary in cases where parties are not relying on any document at the trial.

(b) Under rule 567(3) of the Family Justice Rules it is the responsibility of solicitors for all parties to agree and prepare an agreed bundle as soon as possible. The scope to which the agreement extends must be stated in the index sheet of the agreed bundle.

(c) The documents in the bundles should —

(i) be firmly secured together with plastic ring binding or plastic spine thermal binding, and such rings or spines should be red for plaintiffs and blue for defendants with a transparent plastic cover in front and at the back;

(ii) have flags to mark out documents to which repeated references will be made in the course of hearing, and such flags shall —

(A) bear the appropriate indicium by which the document is indicated in the index of contents; and

(B) be spaced out evenly along the right side of the bundle so that as far as possible they do not overlap one another; and

(iii) be legible (for which purpose clear legible photo-copies of original documents may be exhibited instead of the originals provided the originals are made available for inspection by the other parties before the hearing and by the Judge at the hearing).

(d) Where originals and copies of documents are included in one bundle, it should be stated in the index which documents are originals and which are copies.

(e) Only documents which are relevant or necessary for the trial shall be included in the bundles. In cases where the Court is of the opinion that costs have been wasted by the inclusion of unnecessary documents, the Court will have no hesitation in making a special order for costs against the relevant person.

(f) A core bundle should (unless clearly unnecessary) also be provided containing the most important documents upon which the case will turn or to which repeated reference will have to be made. The documents in this bundle should normally be paginated but should also be cross-referenced to copies of the documents included in the main bundles. The bundle supplied to the Court should be contained in a loose-leaf file which can easily have further documents added to it if required.

Bundle of authorities

(9) Bundles of authorities may be filed in compliance with paragraph 88(4), (5) and (6).

(10) Only authorities which are relevant or necessary for the trial shall be included in the bundles. No bundle of authorities is necessary in cases where parties are not relying on any authority at the trial. In cases where the Court is of the opinion that costs have been wasted by the inclusion of unnecessary authorities, the Court will have no hesitation in making a special order for costs against the relevant person.

(11) The bundle of authorities shall be filed and served on all relevant parties at least 3 working days before trial.

Opening statements

(12) A proper opening statement is of great assistance to the Court as it sets out the case in a nutshell, both as to facts and law. It is intended to identify both for the parties and the Judge the issues that are, and are not, in dispute. It enables the Judge to appreciate what the case is about, and what he is to look out for when reading and listening to the evidence that will follow. Opening statements also help to clarify issues between the parties, so that unnecessary time is not spent on trying to prove what is not disputed or irrelevant. The need for brevity is emphasised as opening statements that contain long and elaborate arguments, and citations from and references to numerous authorities, do not serve this purpose.

(a) In the light of these objectives, opening statements will be required in all cases from all parties, except where dispensation has been granted by the trial Judge and in running down actions.

(b) All opening statements must include the following:

(i) the nature of the case generally and the background facts insofar as they are relevant to the matter before the Court and indicating which facts, if any, are agreed;

(ii) the precise legal and factual issues involved are to be identified with cross-references as appropriate to the pleadings. These issues should be numbered and listed, and each point should be stated in no more than one or two sentences. The object here is to identify the issues in dispute and state each party’s position clearly, not to argue or elaborate on them;

(iii) the principal authorities in support of each legal proposition should be listed, while the key documents and witnesses supporting each factual proposition should be identified;

(iv) where there is a counterclaim or third party action, the opening statement must similarly address all issues raised therein; and

(v) an explanation of the reliefs claimed (if these are unusual or complicated).

(c) The plaintiff’s statement as provided for in sub-paragraph (12)(e) below, should, unless exempted or dispensation has been granted by the trial Judge, be filed and served on all other relevant parties not less than 3 working days before the commencement of the trial for which they are to be used.

(d) The other counsel should each similarly not later than 2 working days before the start of the trial provide to the Court (with copies at the same time to their opponents) a statement which should concisely state the nature of their case on each of the issues to be tried and summarise the propositions of law to be advanced with references to the main authorities to be relied on. The character and length of this document will depend on the circumstances and whether there is any counterclaim or third party proceedings.

(e) In the case of the plaintiff, the statement must include the following:

(i) a summary of essential facts indicating which, if any, are agreed;

(ii) an indication of how these facts are to be proved, identifying relevant witnesses and documents;

(iii) a summary of the issues involved with cross-references as appropriate to the pleadings;

(iv) a summary of the plaintiff’s case in relation to each of the issues with references to the key documents relied upon, and a summary of the propositions of law to be advanced with references to the main authorities to be relied on; and

(v) an explanation of the reliefs claimed (if these are unusual or complicated).

(f) In cases where the Court is of the opinion that costs or hearing days have been wasted by a poorly drafted opening statement, the Court will have no hesitation in making a special order for costs against the relevant person.

(g) The following format shall be adhered to when preparing opening statements:

(i) all pages shall be paginated, with the first page (including the cover page) numbered as ‘Page 1’ so that the page numbers of the hard copy correspond to the page numbers in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version;

(ii) the minimum font size to be used is Times New Roman 12 or its equivalent;

(iii) the print of every page shall be double spaced;

(iv) each page may be printed on one side or both sides; and

(v) every page shall have a margin on all 4 sides, each of at least 35 mm in width.

(h) All opening statements should not exceed 20 pages (including all annexes and appendices, but excluding the cover page and backing page).

(i) Counsel will be at liberty to amend their statements at the trial but in such event will be expected to explain the reasons for the amendments.

Timeline for tendering documents

(13) At the trial of the cause or matter, an adjournment may be ordered if:

(a) the above documents or any of them, save for the opening statement in cases where it is not required or dispensation was granted, were not filed and served within the prescribed time or at all; or

(b) one party seeks to tender any of the above documents or supplements thereto except for supplements to the opening statement at the trial of the cause or matter.

(14) If an adjournment is ordered for any of the reasons set out in sub-paragraph (13) above, the party who has failed to file or serve his documents within the prescribed time or at all or who seeks to tender a document or supplement thereto except for supplements to the opening statement may be ordered by the Court to bear the costs of the adjournment.

91. Hearing in Chambers

In all hearings in chambers before a Judge or Registrar, counsel shall submit their bundles of documents and their own bundle of authorities. Rule 567 of the Family Justice Rules and the requirements of Paragraphs 90(8) to (11) shall, with the necessary modifications , be complied with in this regard, save that the bundles may be submitted at the hearing itself before the Judge or Registrar, as the case may be.

92. Written Submissions and Bundles of Authorities for Special Date Hearings

This paragraph applies only to hearings in the Family Division of the High Court.

(1) For any contested special date hearing before a Judge in the Family Division of the High Court, each party shall:

(a) submit to the Court and serve on the other party a hard copy of the following documents at least 1 clear day in advance of the hearing

(i) written submissions; and

(ii) bundle of authorities (which are in compliance with the requirements under paragraphs 88(4), 90(9) to (11) of these Practice Directions); and

(b) file a soft copy of his written submissions using the Electronic Filing Service no later than 1 working day after the hearing.

(2) If any party does not intend to rely on written submissions at the contested hearing referred to in sub-paragraph (1) above (e.g., where the hearing does not involve complex issues), the party should seek the Court’s approval for a waiver by way of a Request using the Electronic Filing Service at least 7 days before the hearing.

(3) This paragraph does not apply to any hearing before a Judge which is fixed on the normal list. However, parties are encouraged to adhere to the directions set out in sub- paragraph (1) above if the application will be contested. In the event that this is not done, the Judge may adjourn the hearing to enable the filing of written submissions or bundle of authorities if appropriate.

(4) For any special date hearing before a Registrar, any party who wishes to rely on written submissions at the hearing is required to comply with sub-paragraph (1) above.

(5) This paragraph does not apply to any hearings for which specific directions on the filing of written submissions or bundle of authorities are provided for in these Practice Directions.

93. Citation of written judgments and secondary authorities

Citation of written judgments

Counsel who cite a judgment must state the proposition of law that the judgment establishes and the parts of the judgment that support that proposition. Such statements should not excessively add to the length of the submission but should be sufficient to demonstrate the relevance of that judgment to the argument made. Where counsel wish to cite more than two judgments as authority for a given proposition, there must be a compelling reason to do so, and this reason must be provided by counsel in submissions.

Judgments from other jurisdictions can, if judiciously used, provide valuable assistance to the Court. However, where there are in existence local judgments which are directly relevant to the issue, such judgments should be cited in precedence to foreign judgments. Relevant local judgments will be accorded greater weight than judgments from foreign jurisdictions. This will ensure that the Courts are not unnecessarily burdened with judgments made in jurisdictions with differing legal, social or economic contexts. In addition, counsel who cite a foreign judgment must:

(a) draw the attention of the Court to any local judgment that may be relevant to whether the Court should accept the proposition that the foreign judgment is said to establish; and

(b) ensure that such citation will be of assistance to the development of local jurisprudence on the particular issue in question.

(1) The neutral citation system

(a) A neutral citation is a court-approved system of citation which is independent of the series of law reports or other publications, and unique to each written judgment.

(b) Each written judgment from a particular level of court is assigned a sequential number, starting from 1 at the beginning of each calendar year.

(2) Specific paragraph citations

(a) Counsel will be required to make specific citations by referring to the paragraph number of the judgment, and not to the page number of the judgment or report.

(b) For consistency, square brackets will be used to denote paragraph numbers. The paragraph mark (¶) will no longer be used.

(3) Court designators

SGHCF – Family Division of the High Court

SGFC – Singapore Family Courts

SGYC – Singapore Youth Courts

SGDC – Singapore District Court

(4) Application of the neutral citation system

The application of the system is as follows:

(a) Cases reported in the Singapore Law Reports shall be cited using their Singapore Law Reports citations, in priority to their neutral citations.

(b) Unreported decisions shall be cited using their neutral citations.

(5) Example and explanation

ABC Co Pte Ltd v XYZ Co Ltd [2015] SGFC 25, at [3], [8].

Year of the decision [2015]

Level of Court SGFC (Singapore Family Courts)

Sequential Number 25 (twenty-fifth written judgment rendered by the Family Courts in 2015)

Paragraph Number(s) Paragraphs 3 and 8 of the judgment

Citation of secondary authorities in court

(6) Counsel are advised to be more circumspect in their use of secondary authorities such as textbooks, journals, periodicals and other treatises. As far as possible, counsel should rely on primary authorities to support the proposition of law argued for; and

(7) If it necessary to cite secondary authorities, counsel should ensure that the material to be cited is directly relevant to the case before the Court. Counsel are also reminded of their duty to ensure that such material is not cited out of context. The following are specific guidelines for the citation of different types of secondary authorities:

(a) Textbooks that are generally recognised as leading textbooks in the relevant area of law may be readily cited to the Court.

(b) If counsel wish to cite academic articles in journals and periodicals in support of a particular proposition of law, they should ensure that they are citing a statement, rather than a critique, of the law. Citation of academic articles should be limited to those written by eminent authors of reputable standing. The articles should also have been published in established journals and periodicals.

(c) Legal opinions written by other counsel not having conduct of the case before the court should generally not be cited as authority. Such legal opinions are considerably less authoritative than academic articles, as the views expressed in these private opinions have not been subject to the rigorous scrutiny of editorship and public critique.

(8) Counsel’s attention is drawn to rule 859 of the Family Justice Rules which gives the Court the power to make an order for costs personally against errant advocates and solicitors, who have wasted or incurred costs unreasonably or improperly. The Court will not hesitate to invoke its powers under rule 859 of the Family Justice Rules in cases where costs have been wasted due to counsel’s indiscriminate citation of unnecessary and irrelevant secondary authorities.

94. Submissions and examination by leading and assisting counsel

(1) In the event that a party is represented by more than one counsel at a hearing, whether in Court or in chambers, the making of submissions and the questioning of witnesses may be carried out by one counsel for each party only.

(2) If party would like submissions on different issues be made or certain portions of the examination, cross- examination or re-examination be conducted by different counsel, an oral application should be made to Court as early as is practicable and by no later than the commencement of the trial or hearing for leave to do so. The following information should be provided to the Court for the purposes of the application:

(a) the issues on which each counsel will be making submissions; and/or

(b) the witnesses to be examined, cross-examined or re-examined by each counsel, or the portions of their evidence for which each counsel will conduct the examination, cross-examination or re-examination.

Nothing in this paragraph detracts from the responsibility of lead counsel to ensure that all counsel making submissions, or having conduct of any portion of the examination, crossexamination or re-examination of witnesses, are adequately supervised and able to handle the tasks assigned to them.

(3) If leave has been granted in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), counsel should ensure that each confines himself to the issues or portions of evidence in respect of which leave was granted and that there is no overlap in the issues or the examination being dealt with by different counsel for the same party. Further, counsel must not repeat, clarify or expand on any submissions or portions thereof that have been made by another counsel for the same party or examine, cross-examine or re-examine witnesses on portions of their evidence dealt with by another counsel for the same party.

(4) If leave of the Court is not sought in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), only one counsel will be allowed to make submissions or conduct examination for a party throughout the hearing.

(5) For hearings in chambers, lead counsel are strongly encouraged to apprise the client of the benefits of allocating certain advocacy tasks to junior assisting counsel, including the potential benefits of reduced legal costs and increased focus by lead counsel on the main advocacy tasks, and to therefore consider obtaining instructions to make an application in accordance with subparagraph (2). In this regard, lead counsel are encouraged to consider that giving junior assisting counsel more opportunities for oral advocacy could potentially benefit the client and, at the same time, promote renewal of the Bar.

(6) For civil trials:

(a) Notwithstanding sub-paragraphs (1) and (2), and save where lead counsel is a junior counsel, the junior assisting counsel shall deliver the oral opening statement unless the Court otherwise orders; and

(b) lead counsel are to inform the trial judge at the Judge Pre-Trial Conference (“JPTC”), or if a JPTC has not been fixed, at the start of the trial, whether their client will be making an application pursuant to sub-paragraph (2) above and, if so, the proposed division of advocacy tasks between lead counsel and junior assisting counsel.

(7) This Paragraph shall apply to all proceedings in the Family Courts, Youth Courts and Family Division of the High Court.

95. Amendment of documents

General requirements for amendment of any document

(1) Except as otherwise provided by the provisions of this Paragraph, where any document (inclusive of any pleading) that has been filed in any proceedings is required to be amended and re-filed in Court, a fresh copy of the document with the amendments included must be prepared, regardless of the number and length of the amendments sought to be made.

(2) The procedure for amending a document is as follows:

(a) A fresh amended copy of the document should be produced.

(b) The number of times the document has been amended shall be indicated (in brackets) after the name of the document. For this purpose, an amended document should be entitled “[document name] (Amendment No. 1)” or “[document name] (Amendment No. 2)”, or as appropriate. For example, a Statement of Claim which is amended for the first time should be filed as “Statement of Claim (Amendment No. 1)”, and a Defence that is amended for the second time should be filed as “Defence (Amendment No. 2)”.

(c) The changes made in the document from the latest version of the document filed in Court should be indicated in the following way:

(i) deletions shall be made by drawing a single line across the words to be deleted; and

(ii) insertions shall be underlined.

Colour scheme for amendments

(3) In addition, the following colours shall be used to indicate the history of the amendments in the specified documents:

(a) black for the first round of amendments;

(b) red for the second round of amendments;

(c) green for the third round of amendments;

(d) blue for the fourth round of amendments; and

(e) brown for subsequent rounds of amendments.

Amendment for third time or more

(4) From the third round of amendments onwards, the amended specified document should comprise two versions of the document, i.e. —

(a) a clean version without the amendments shown; followed in the same document by

(b) a version showing the amendments in colour.

(5) Only one amended document consisting of these two versions is required to be filed.

Cases to which the requirements in sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply

(6) The directions in sub-paragraph (2)(b) above shall not apply to any originating summons or summons that has been amended from an inter partes application to an ex parte application or vice versa.

(7) The directions in sub-paragraphs (2)(c) above shall not apply to any originating process, summons or other electronic form that is composed online through the Electronic Filing Service.

Amendment endorsements on electronic forms

(8) Rule 426(3) of the Family Justice Rules requires that an amended pleading or other document be endorsed with a statement that it has been amended, specifying the date on which it was amended and by whom the order (if any) authorising the amendment was made and the date thereof, and if no such order was made, the number of the Rule in Part 18 Division 14 of the Family Justice Rules in pursuance of which the amendment was made.

(9) Where electronic forms are amended, the amendment endorsement shall take either one of the following forms:

(a) “By order of court made on [date order was made]”; or

(b) “Pursuant to Rule [cite specific rule number]”.

(10) The amendment endorsement shall be appended to the title of the electronic form, after the amendment number as required under sub-paragraph (2)(b) above. Where an electronic form is amended more than once, the endorsement need only cite the basis for the most recent amendment. For example —

(a) “Originating Summons (Amendment No. 3, by order of court made on 1 January 2013)”;

(b) “Writ of Summons (Amendment No. 1, pursuant to r420)”.

(11) The date of the electronic form shall reflect the date on which the document is amended.

Amendments made on original writ or originating summons (where amendments are not numerous or lengthy)

(12) This sub-paragraph applies to writs and originating summonses that have not been filed using the Electronic Filing Service. In addition to the usual endorsement signed by the solicitors pursuant to Paragraph 73 of these Practice Directions, there should be re- sealing of the document as required by rule 426(1), of the Family Justice Rules. The seal will be embossed over the endorsement.

Amendment of case title to add a party

(13) Where leave of Court has been obtained to add a party to the main case title of a matter, for example, an intervener, a garnishee or any party that was previously a non-party, the applicant or his solicitor is to file a Request through the Electronic Filing Service to add that specific party to the main case title.

96. Waiting time for the hearing of matters

The waiting time between the filing of certain processes or other steps in the proceedings and the date for the hearing of the matter are as set out below. Solicitors are directed to take note of these waiting times and must be ready to proceed at the end of the relevant period.

Waiting Time for Trials or Hearings in the Family Justice Courts

Family Courts

S/N Type of Causes or Matters Waiting Time
1 Trials 2 to 4 weeks from the last case conference / court mentions
2 Maintenance Cases 3 to 4 weeks from the last court mentions
3 Summons# 4 to 6 weeks from the last case conference
4 Summary Judgment 6 weeks (statutory) from filing date
5 Summons for Directions 4 to 6 weeks from filing date
6 Assessment of Damages 2 to 4 weeks from the last case conference
7 Examination of Judgment Debtor 4 weeks from Request for Examination
8 Non-contentious Probate applications 3 to 4 weeks from filing date
9 Adoption cases 4 weeks from filing date
10 Taxation and review of taxation 3 to 4 weeks from filing date
11 Writs of Execution 4 to 8 weeks from filing date
12 Appeal against the Registrar’s decision 2 to 4 weeks from filing date

Youth Courts

S/N Type of Causes or Matters Waiting Time
13 Youth Arrest Cases 4 to 6 weeks from last court mentions
14 Youth Court Trials 4 to 6 weeks from last court mentions

Family Division of the High Court

S/N Type of Causes or Matters Waiting Time
15 Case Conferences in Suits:
a) where the writ has not been served
b) where the writ has been served or memorandum of appearance has been entered

a) 10 weeks from date of writ
b) 7 weeks from date of service of writ/memorandum of appearance
16 Trials 8 weeks from the date of setting down
17 Non-contentious Probate Applications 4 weeks from filing date
18 Originating Summons
a) Inter partes Originating Summons
b) Ex parte Originating Summons

a) 6 weeks from filing date
b) 3 weeks from filing date
19 Appeals from Family Courts 4 weeks from receipt of record of proceedings
20 Magistrate’s Appeals 8 weeks from receipt of record of proceedings

# The waiting period for applications for discovery or interrogatories against a network service provider under Paragraph 82 of these Practice Directions is 5 days from the date of filing of the Originating Summons.

(*) “Waiting Time” is defined as follows:

For trials, it is the period from the last court mentions/case conference (when parties indicate they are ready) to the date of hearing. For interlocutory matters, the waiting time is usually calculated from the date of filing. In the majority of cases, the matter should be heard within the time frames as indicated above. It is only in exceptional circumstances that the time frame is departed from.

97. Request for urgent hearing dates or urgent hearings prior to the filing of the application through the Electronic Filing Service

Counsel requesting an urgent hearing before the Duty Registrar or Duty District Judge, or an urgent hearing date, in respect of an application that has not yet been filed through the Electronic Filing Service, shall submit a hard copy of the proposed application and any supporting affidavit to the Duty Registrar or Duty District Judge for the Court’s retention and shall give an undertaking to file the application and supporting affidavit using the Electronic Filing Service by the next working day.

98. Requesting a hearing date through the Electronic Filing Service

(1) When filing applications through the Electronic Filing Service, solicitors may make a request for a preferred hearing date for any interlocutory application to be heard before a Registrar.

(2) Solicitors should confer with all parties to the application before selecting a preferred hearing date. Every counsel arguing the application should be available to attend the hearing on the date selected.

(3) In the event that it is not possible to confer with opposing counsel on a preferred hearing date, whether due to the nature or urgency of the application or otherwise, solicitors must select a date when counsel arguing the application for the applicant will be available.

(4) Solicitors are reminded to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph 76(6) of these Practice Directions.

99. Written Submissions for Contested Inter Partes Applications in Chambers

(1) To facilitate and expedite the hearing of contested inter partes applications before a Registrar in Chambers, District Judge in Chambers and Registrar’s Appeals before a District Judge in Chambers, the applicant and the respondent to the application shall file their Written Submissions no later than 7 days prior to the hearing date fixed by the Court and shall serve a copy thereof on the other party to the application or his solicitor.

(2) The Written Submissions filed by parties shall set out as concisely as possible:

(a) the circumstances out of which the application arises;

(b) the issues arising in the application;

(c) the contentions to be urged by the party filing it and the authorities in support thereof; and

(d) the reasons for or against the application, as the case may be.

(3) Sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) applies only in the following matters:

(a) Application for determination of questions of law or construction of documents under rule 345 of the Family Justice Rules;

(b) Application to set aside judgment under rule 334 or rule 417 of the Family Justice Rules;

(c) Application to strike out pleadings and endorsements under rule 405 of the Family Justice Rules;

(d) Registrar’s Appeals under Part 18, Divisions 57 and 58 of the Family Justice Rules of Court; and

(e) Any other application as may be directed by the Court.

100. Adjournment or vacation of hearing dates and part- heard cases

(1) Where dates have been fixed for the trial of any cause or matter, any request for an adjournment or vacation of the trial dates shall be made to a Judge or Registrar by way of summons with a supporting affidavit even in those cases where counsel for the other party or parties consent to the adjournment.

(2) Subject to any directions of the Judge or Registrar, when a case is adjourned, the Registrar will assign such days as are available for the hearing of the case, and counsel will be expected to take the dates at short notice. Where counsel is unable for any reason to take the dates, he shall apply to the Judge or Registrar for an adjournment in accordance with sub-paragraph (1) above.

(3) In the event that the hearing of a case is not concluded within the number of days allotted, the Court may direct the hearing of the case to continue beyond the allotted time rather than adjourning the case part-heard to another date. Counsel for parties in all cases should therefore be prepared to continue with the hearing of the matter notwithstanding the fact that the time originally allotted may have expired. Subject to any such directions of the Court, all part-heard cases shall be fixed for continued hearing at short notice. Applications for adjournment of such hearing dates may be granted only for good and sufficient reasons.

101. Requests for further arguments before the Judge or Registrar

(1) All requests for further arguments shall be made by way of Request electronic form and filed through the Electronic Filing Service.

(2) The party filing the Request must, either in the Request or a document attached thereto —

(a) state the party making the request;

(b) identify the Judge or Registrar who heard the matter in question;

(c) specify when the order concerned was made;

(d) state the provision of law under which the request is made;

(e) set out the proposed further arguments briefly, together with any supporting authorities; and

(f) include a copy of each of the authorities cited.

(3) A copy of the request must be furnished to all parties concerned.

(4) All requests must be addressed to the Registrar.

102. Absence of parties

Where an application has been struck off by reason of any party being absent, the Registrar may direct that the matter be restored by way of summons.

103. Production of record of hearing

Record of Trials

(1) Pursuant to rule 611 of the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar hereby directs that there shall be audio recording of all trials in action. Such audio recording shall be made using the Digital Audio Recording Transcription System (DART) only.

(2) Pursuant to rule 611(1)(b), the Registrar further directs that in proceedings where no audio recording is made, the notes of hearing shall be taken down by the Judge, judicial officer or court officer, whether by hand or through the use of a computer or electronic device.

(3) The provisions of sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) are subject to any directions made by the Judge or judicial officer hearing the matter, or by the Registrar, whether or not upon application by the parties. Such directions may include the use of alternative means of producing transcripts.

(4) Where the Court makes such directions under sub-paragraph (3):

(a) the transcript of the notes of hearing shall, pursuant to rule 611(1)(b), constitute the official record of hearing; and

(b) the parties shall inform the Family Justice Courts Registry by letter at least 7 working days before the scheduled hearing as to the mode by which the proceedings will be recorded.

(5) The costs of engaging a service provider shall be paid by the parties directly to the service provider.

(6) Requests for certified transcripts of the official record of hearing conducted at the Supreme Court building shall be made by filing the requisite Request electronic form through the Electronic Filing Service at least 7 working days before the scheduled hearing.

Request for Digital Audio Recording and Transcription Service for Hearings other than Trials

(7) Digital audio recording and transcription of proceedings will be made available in the Family Justice Courts, to parties, through one or more designated service providers at the request of parties.

(8) The request for digital audio recording and transcription service shall be subject to the approval and/or directions of the Court hearing the proceedings, the approval of the Registrar, and the availability of the designated service provider to provide the service.

Applications for Digital Audio Recording and Transcription Service

(9) Any party who intends to use the digital audio recording and transcription service shall write to the Court hearing the proceedings for approval at least 12 working days before the commencement of the proceedings.

(10) Upon written notification of the approval by the Court hearing the proceedings, the requesting party shall submit to the designated service provider at least 8 working days before the commencement of the proceedings the application for digital audio recording and transcription service using the requisite form provided by the designated service provider. The requesting party shall also comply with any direction(s) that may be given by the Court hearing the proceedings, in respect of the party’s written request for digital audio recording and transcription service.

(11) The designated service provider shall inform the requesting party whether the application for digital audio recording and transcription service has received final approval by the Registrar.

(12) The cost of engaging the designated service provider for digital audio recording and transcription service shall be paid by the requesting party directly to the designated service provider. The engagement of and payment to the designated service provider are subject to its terms and conditions.

(13) The party or parties engaging the designated service provider shall apply for sufficient copies of the transcript to be furnished to the Court hearing the proceedings and all other parties to the proceedings.

104. Use of electronic and other devices

(1) In order to maintain the dignity of Court proceedings in the Family Justice Courts, court users are strictly prohibited from making any video and/or image recording in all hearings and sessions in Court or in chambers.

(2) Additionally, all communications with external parties and audio recording during a hearing or session are strictly prohibited without prior approval of the Judge or Registrar hearing the matter or the person presiding over the session.

(3) Court users are permitted to use notebooks, tablets and other electronic devices to take notes of evidence and for other purposes pertaining to the proceedings during hearings or sessions, provided that such use does not in any way disrupt or trivialise the proceedings.

(4) This Paragraph shall apply to all family and juvenile proceedings in the Family Justice Courts.

(5) For the avoidance of doubt, this Paragraph shall also apply to all alternative dispute resolution and counselling sessions conducted in the Family Justice Courts.

(6) The attention of court users is also drawn to section 5 of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Act 2016 (Act No. 19 of 2016).

105. Application for court records and certification of transcripts for family matters

(1) For proceedings in Family Courts or Family Division of the High Court which have been commenced using the Electronic Filing Service, every application for the court records in those proceedings (including notes of evidence, certified transcripts or grounds of decision) must be made by way of filing the appropriate Request in the Electronic Filing Service to the Registry of the Family Justice Courts.

(2) On approval, copies of the court records will be made available upon payment of an appropriate fee.

(3) Pursuant to rule 612 of the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar hereby directs that transcripts of hearing or notes of hearing may be certified by:

(a) The Judge or judicial officer having conduct of the proceedings;

(b) With the approval of the Court, the personal secretary to the Judge or judicial officer having conduct of the proceedings; or

(c) With the approval of the Court, the service provider.

106. Access to case file, inspection, taking copies of documents and conducting searches

Access by parties to a case file

(1) All parties to a case who are registered users of the Electronic Filing Service may, subject to this paragraph and any directions of the Court, access the online case file made available through the Electronic Filing Service and may inspect, download soft copies or print hard copies of documents accessible to the parties in the online case file.

(2) Where a party to a case is not a registered user and is unable to access the electronic case file through the Electronic Filing Service, the procedure governing file inspection by non-parties to a case in sub-paragraph (5) below shall be followed.

(3) All parties to a case shall have the liberty to make amendments at will to administrative details contained in the electronic case file through the Electronic Filing Service, and for this purpose —

(a) administrative details include the contact details of solicitors, the identities of the solicitors, and the nature of the claim; and

(b) where a party to a case is not a registered user of the Electronic Filing Service, he may attend at the service bureau to seek assistance to amend the administrative details contained in the electronic case file.

(4) The Registry may require parties to a case to provide supporting documents to substantiate proposed amendments to other details of the electronic case file before the amendment is approved (e.g. amendments to add or remove a party to the case have to be supported by an order of court, and amendments to change the name, gender, identification number, or marital status of a party to the case have to be substantiated by documentary proof).

File inspection by non-parties

(5) In order to inspect a case file containing documents that were filed through the Electronic Filing Service, the following procedure should be followed:

(a) A Request should be made to obtain leave to inspect the file, which request should —

(i) be filed using the Electronic Filing Service;

(ii) state the name of the person who is to carry out the search or inspection (and if this person is not a solicitor, his identity card number should also be included in the request, after his name, and a copy of his identity card should be provided);

(iii) state the interest the applicant has in the matter, and the reason for the search or inspection; and

(iv) if the search or inspection is requested for the purpose of ascertaining information for use in a separate suit or matter, clearly state the nature of the information sought and the relevance of such information to the separate suit or matter.

(b) Once approval for inspection has been received from the Court:

(i) Registered users can inspect the case file online through the Electronic Filing Service;

(ii) Parties who are not registered users can inspect the case file by presenting a copy of the approval at the service bureau. After verifying the approval that has been presented, the service bureau will assign a personal computer to the inspecting party for the inspection to be carried out. An inspecting party will usually be allowed only 60 minutes to carry out the inspection. If a longer period is required, the service bureau may impose a charge for use of the computer. The service bureau may impose additional charges for downloading soft copies or printing hard copies of documents from the case file being inspected.

(6) Requests in hard copy may be submitted to inspect case files containing documents which were not filed using the Electronic Filing Service. The Family Registry will only accept requests which are printed or typewritten on paper of good quality and signed by the solicitors concerned. Requests which have any erasure marks on them will be rejected. Requests which are double stamped, that is, if the requests were originally short stamped and later stamped to add up to the correct fee, may be rejected.

(7) Solicitors must communicate to the Registrar in writing the names of their clerks who have their authority to make searches and inspections. Such authority may be in respect of a specific search or inspection or for a specified period.

(8) For the avoidance of doubt, a non-party who has obtained approval to inspect a case file may take and retain a soft copy of any document that is available for inspection. All copies of documents taken in the course of inspection should not be used for purposes other than those stated in the Request to inspect. Solicitors shall be responsible for informing their clients of this.

Obtaining certified true copies of documents

(9) Applications to obtain certified true paper copies of documents should be made by way of filing a Request through the Electronic Filing Service, unless the documents concerned have not been filed through the Electronic Filing Service.

(10) The intended use of the certified true copies should be clearly stated in the Request. The relevance and necessity of the certified true copies in relation to their intended use should also be clearly described.

(11) Once approval is received from the Court, the applicant should present a printed copy of the approved Request at the Records Section. After verifying that the Request presented has been approved, the staff of the Records Section will inform the applicant of any additional fees payable. Where additional fees are payable, these fees should then be stamped on the Request at the Family Justice Courts’ Cashier’s Office. Upon presentation of this stamped Request, the documents will be furnished to the applicant.

(12) The fees prescribed by Part 19 of the Family Justice Rules will be payable for the above services without prejudice to additional printing charges which may be chargeable by the Court or the service bureau for reproducing the copies in paper form.

Conducting searches of information maintained by the Registry

(13) Rule 889 of the Family Justice Rules provides that the Registry shall maintain information prescribed or required to be kept by the Family Justice Rules and practice directions issued by the Registrar. In addition to any provisions in the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar hereby directs that the following information shall be maintained by the Registry:

(a) details of all originating processes in Family Justice Courts, including:

(i) details of interlocutory applications;

(ii) details of appeals filed therein; and

(iii) details of probate proceedings, including wills and caveats filed therein;

(b) details of writs of execution, wits of distress and warrants of arrest; and

(c) any other information as may from time to time be deemed necessary.

(14) Searches of this information under rule 891 of the Family Justice Rules may be conducted through the Electronic Filing Service at a service bureau or at the Records Section. The fees prescribed by Part 19 of the Family Justice Rules will be payable for the searches.

(15) An application may be made by any person for a licence to use any information contained in any electronic cause book or register subject to such terms and conditions as the Registrar may determine. Successful applicants will be required to enter into separate technical services agreements with the Electronic Filing Service provider. Applications under this paragraph must be made in writing, identifying the data fields sought and providing details of how the information will be used.

107. Personal Data

(1) For the purposes of the following sub-paragraphs:

(a) “personal data” shall have the same meaning as defined in the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (Act No. 26 of 2012); and

(b) “data subject” means a person whose personal data appears in any document filed in the Registry or an electronic cause book or register maintained by the Registry.

Consent to collection, use or disclosure of personal data

(2) Consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal data contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar need not be obtained.

(3) Pursuant to rule 889 of the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar may compile and maintain electronic cause books and registers by extracting information, including personal data, contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar.

Access to, and correction of, personal data contained in documents filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar

(4) A data subject who wishes to access his personal data contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar must comply with the applicable provisions in the Rules of Court and these Practice Directions relating to the access to and inspection of case files.

(5) A data subject shall not be entitled to request information about the ways in which his personal data contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar has been used or disclosed.

(6) A data subject who wishes to correct any error or omission in his personal data in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar must comply with the applicable provisions in the Rules of Court and these Practice Directions relating to the amendment of the relevant document.

Access to, and correction of, personal data contained in electronic cause books and registers maintained by the Registry

(7) A data subject who wishes to access his personal data contained in any electronic cause book or register must conduct a search through the Electronic Filing Service at a service bureau or at the Legal Registry and shall pay the fees prescribed by Part 19 of the Family Justice Rules.

(8) A data subject shall not be entitled to request information about the ways in which his personal data contained in any electronic cause book or register has been used or disclosed.

(9) A data subject who wishes to correct any error or omission of his personal data in any electronic cause book or register maintained by the Registry shall comply with the following procedure:

(a) The request to correct the error or omission must be made in writing by the data subject or by his solicitor, together with the reason for the requested correction. The request must clearly identify the record and the personal data to be corrected;

(b) If the data subject is not represented, his identity card number should also be included in the request and a copy of his identity card should be provided; and

(c) The following documents should accompany the request:

(i) recent copy of the record identifying the error or omission; and

(ii) supporting document(s) to substantiate the proposed correction.

(10) Where a correction is made pursuant to a request under sub-paragraph (9), any information that is licensed for use under paragraph 106(15) will be updated accordingly with the corrected personal data.

108. Witnesses

Issuance of subpoenas

(1) An application for a subpoena shall be made by way of filing a subpoena in Form 123 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions. The subpoena is deemed to be issued when it is sealed by an officer of the Registry pursuant to rule 601(2) of the Family Justice Rules. The previous practice of filing a Request to issue a subpoena is discontinued.

Release of witness upon completion of evidence

(2) Every witness will be released by the Court upon completion of his evidence and it is the duty of counsel to apply to the Court if counsel desires the witness to remain. This sub-paragraph shall apply to both civil and criminal proceedings.

109. Form of affidavits

Affidavits filed electronically

(1) This sub-paragraph shall apply to affidavits which are to be filed through the Electronic Filing Service.

(a) When filing affidavits for use during a hearing of an interlocutory application, the summons number of the interlocutory application must be provided in the Electronic Filing Service in addition to the case number of the suit or matter.

(b) Affidavits shall have a blank margin of not less than 35mm wide on all 4 sides of the page. They shall be printed or typed and must be double-spaced.

(c) The textual portion of the affidavits, as opposed to the exhibits, must be white.

(d) At the top right hand corner of the first page of every affidavit there shall be typed or printed in a single line the following:

(i) the party on whose behalf the affidavit is filed;

(ii) the name of the deponent;

(iii) the ordinal number of the affidavit in relation to the affidavits filed in the cause or matter by the deponent;

(iv) the date the affidavit is filed;

(v) the top right hand corner of the first page of every affidavit shall also state whether the affidavit has been filed in respect of a contested divorce (“CD”), uncontested divorce (“UD”), summons (“SUM”), ancillary matters (“AM”) or originating summons (“OS”) hearing, and if the affidavit is filed in respect of a summons hearing, it shall state the number of the said summons, where the number is available, for example:

“Defendant: Tan Ah Kow: 4th: 15.4.2013: AM hearing”; and “Defendant: Tan Ah Kow: 4th: 15.4.2013: SUM hearing: SUM no. 1234 of 2013”; and

the document name that is selected in the Electronic Filing Service for an affidavit for ancillary matters hearing shall be “Affidavit for Ancillary Matters Hearing”.

(e) Every page of the affidavit ( including separators and exhibits) shall be paginated consecutively, and the page number shall be placed at the top right hand corner of the page. Every reference to an exhibit (or a document in an exhibit) shall include, where appropriate, the page number(s) where the exhibit (or document) can be located.

(f) Sub-paragraph 1(d)(v) is applicable to proceedings under Part X of the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353) filed before 1 April 2006 as if any reference to the defendant were a reference to the respondent.

Affidavits that are not filed electronically

(2) This sub-paragraph applies to affidavits which are not required to be filed through the Electronic Filing Service.

(a) Form of affidavits generally

(i) Affidavits shall be on A4-ISO paper of durable quality with a blank margin not less than 35 mm wide on all 4 sides of the page.

(ii) The paper used shall be white.

(iii) Affidavits shall be produced by printing, lithography or typewriting, and in any case not by carbon copying. A document produced by a photographic or similar process giving a positive and permanent representation free from blemishes will be treated, to the extent that it contains a facsimile of matter produced by one of the above processes, as if it were so produced. Photographic copies which are not clearly legible will be rejected.

(iv) Affidavits shall be printed or typed, double-spaced, on one side or both sides of the paper.

(b) Markings on affidavits

At the top right hand corner of the first page of every affidavit, and also on the backing sheet, there shall be typed or printed in a single line the following:

(i) the party on whose behalf the affidavit is filed;

(ii) the name of the deponent;

(iii) the ordinal number of the affidavit in relation to the affidavits filed in the cause or matter by the deponent;

(iv) the date the affidavit is filed;

(v) whether the affidavit has been filed in respect of a contested divorce (“CD”), uncontested divorce (“UD”), summons (“SUM”), ancillary matters (“AM”) or originating summons (“OS”) hearing, for example, “Defendant: Tan Ah Kow: 4th: 15.4.2013: AM hearing”; and

(vi) if the affidavit is filed in respect of a summons hearing, the number of the said summons, where the number is available, for example, “Defendant: Tan Ah Kow: 4th: 15.4.2013: SUM hearing: SUM no. 1234 of 2013”.

(c) Binding of affidavits

Affidavits of 30 pages or less (including exhibits and dividing and backing sheets) may be stapled at the top left hand corner of the paper firmly. Any affidavit (including exhibits, dividing and backing sheets) exceeding 30 pages shall be bound with plastic ring binding or plastic spine thermal binding (the plastic rings or spines to be red for plaintiffs/appellants, and blue for defendants/respondents) with a transparent plastic cover in front and at the back.

(d) Pagination of affidavits

Every page of the affidavit shall be paginated consecutively, and the page number shall be placed at the top right hand corner of the page. Every reference to an exhibit (or a document in an exhibit) shall include, where appropriate, the page number(s) where the exhibit (or document) can be located.

(e) Sub-paragraph 2(b) is applicable to proceedings under Part X of the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353) filed before 1 April 2006 as if any reference to the defendant were a reference to the respondent.

110. Exhibits to affidavits

Non-documentary exhibits

(1) Non-documentary exhibits (e.g., tapes, samples of merchandise, etc.) shall be clearly marked with the exhibit mark in such a manner that there is no likelihood of the exhibit being separated or lost.

(2) Where the exhibit consists of more than one item (e.g., cassettes in a box) each and every such separate item of the exhibits shall similarly be separately marked with enough of the usual exhibit mark to ensure precise identification.

(3) Where it is impracticable to mark on the article itself, such article or the container thereof shall be tagged or labelled with the exhibit mark securely attached to the exhibit in such a manner that it is not easily removable.

(4) Very small non-documentary exhibits shall be enclosed or mounted in a sealed transparent container, tagged or labelled as aforesaid. An enlarged photograph showing the relevant characteristics of such exhibits shall, where applicable, be exhibited in the affidavit.

Exhibits to affidavits filed electronically

(5) The directions in this sub-paragraph shall apply to exhibits to affidavits that are filed through the Electronic Filing Service:

(a) Every page of every exhibit must be fully and clearly legible. Where necessary, magnified copies of the relevant pages should be inserted in appropriate places.

(b) Every page of the exhibits, including dividing sheets or separators between exhibits , shall be consecutively numbered at the top right hand corner of each page, taking as its first number the number that follows the number of the last sheet of the affidavit.

(c) Each exhibit in the affidavit must be separately book-marked in the Portable Document Format document that is filed. For this purpose —

(i) the names of the book-marks should follow the initials of the deponent of the affidavit, e.g., “TAK-1”, “TAK-2”; and

(ii) where a deponent deposes to more than one affidavit to which there are exhibits in any one action, cause or proceedings, the numbering of the exhibits in all subsequent affidavits shall run consecutively throughout, and not begin again with each affidavit.

(d) Related documents (e.g., correspondence and invoices) may be collected together and collectively exhibited as one exhibit arranged in chronological order, beginning with the earliest at the top, paginated in accordance with sub- paragraph (5)(b) above, and the exhibit must have a front page showing the table of contents of the items in the exhibit.

Exhibits to affidavits that are not filed electronically

(6) This sub-paragraph applies to exhibits to affidavits that are not required to be filed through the Electronic Filing Service.

(a) Every page of every exhibit must be fully and clearly legible. Where necessary, magnified copies of the relevant pages should be inserted in appropriate places.

(b) All documentary exhibits in an affidavit shall be prefaced by a dividing sheet in a light colour other than white, marked, typed or stamped clearly with an exhibit mark as follows:

“This is the exhibit marked __ [letter of the alphabet or a number] referred to in the affidavit of ____[name of the deponent] and sworn/affirmed before me this ___ [date on which the affidavit is sworn or affirmed].

Before me,

SGD

A Commissioner for Oaths”

(c) When there are more than 10 different documentary exhibits in an affidavit, there shall be —

(i) a table of contents of the documentary exhibits inserted before the first of such exhibits enumerating every exhibit in the affidavit in the manner of the example set out below:

Reference in affidavit Nature of exhibit Page No.
“TAK-1” Certificate of marriage 6
“TAK-2” Certificate of birth 7

(ii) each document shall be flagged by means of a plastic tag, marked in accordance with the exhibit reference and such flags shall run vertically down the right edge of the exhibits evenly spaced out so as not to overlap one another. The table of contents itself shall bear the top most flag, marked “TABLE”; and

(iii) exhibits shall be bound in the sequence in which references are made to them in the affidavit.

(d) Pagination

Every page of the exhibits (but not the dividing sheets mentioned in sub- paragraph (6)(b) above) shall be consecutively numbered at the top right hand corner of each page, taking as its first number the number that follows the number of the last sheet of the affidavit.

(e) Numbering

Where a deponent deposes to more than one affidavit to which there are exhibits in any one action, cause or proceedings, the numbering of such exhibits in all subsequent affidavits shall run consecutively throughout, and not begin again with each affidavit.

(f) References to exhibits in other affidavits

Where a deponent wishes to refer to a document already exhibited in some other deponent’s affidavit, he shall not also exhibit it to his own affidavit.

(g) Related documents

Related documents (e.g., correspondence and invoices) may be collected together and collectively exhibited as one exhibit arranged in chronological order, beginning with the earliest at the top, paginated in accordance with sub- paragraph (6)(d) above, and the exhibit must have a front page showing the table of contents of the items in the exhibit.

111. Swearing or affirming of affidavits, statutory declarations and oaths

(1) Rule 8 of the Commissioners for Oaths Rules (Cap. 322, Rule 3) was amended effective 1 September 1998 to permit an advocate and solicitor who is appointed a commissioner for oaths to take affidavits or statutory declarations, or administer oaths to a deponent in a language or dialect, other than English, spoken or understood by the deponent and in which the advocate and solicitor is proficient in. Given these amendments, advocates and solicitors are requested to encourage their clients to use the services of other advocates and solicitors who are appointed commissioners for oaths and who are proficient in the language or dialect in which the affidavits or statutory declarations are to be sworn or affirmed, or in which the oaths are to be taken. The Family Justice Courts’ commissioners for oaths will continue to take affidavits or statutory declarations and administer oaths for legally aided cases and for parties who are acting in person who need to file documents in the Family Justice Courts.

(2) If arrangements for the use of the services of advocates and solicitors who are appointed as commissioners for oaths are not possible, deponents who are blind or illiterate in English may continue to be brought by solicitors to the Family Justice Courts’ commissioners for oaths to swear or affirm affidavits and statutory declarations. As the Family Justice Courts’ commissioners for oaths are under a duty to ensure that the deponent understands the document being deposed to, they are obliged to interpret the document to intended deponents; this is also the case in relation to blind deponents. This necessary exercise may take a considerable time and may cause long delays for other persons who wish to take affidavits or statutory declarations before the Family Justice Courts’ commissioners for oaths.

(3) Accordingly, solicitors who wish to bring illiterate or blind deponents before the Family Justice Courts’ commissioners for oaths should first estimate the time that will be taken to interpret the document or documents to be deposed to. If it is estimated that the total time required for interpretation of the documents will be more than 20 minutes, the solicitor must write to the Registrar and arrange for a special appointment for the documents to be sworn or affirmed; the solicitor should not bring the deponent before the duty commissioner for oaths without such an appointment.

(4) If an illiterate or a blind deponent is brought before the duty Family Justice Courts commissioner for oaths and the interpretation of the document or documents takes more than 20 minutes, the commissioner for oaths will refer the solicitor and the deponent to the Registrar for a special appointment to be made for the documents to be deposed to.

(5) Save in exceptional circumstances, the Family Justice Courts will not entertain requests from advocates and solicitors for its commissioners for oaths to swear or affirm affidavits or statutory declarations or administer oaths to a deponent outside the Family Justice Courts’ premises. Advocates and solicitors appointed as commissioners for

oaths and who are proficient in the language or dialect in which the affidavits or statutory declarations are to be sworn or affirmed, or in which oaths are to be taken, are instead encouraged to perform this function

112. Effect of non-compliance

Any affidavit or exhibit which does not comply with the Directions contained in this Part will be liable to be rejected by the Court and made the subject of an order for costs.

113. Objections to the contents of affidavits of evidence-in- chief

(1) If, on an application for directions under rule 482, or rule 583 of the Family Justice Rules, or otherwise, orders are made prescribing the time within which objection to the contents of affidavits of evidence-in-chief must be taken, the objections must be taken in accordance with the Directions contained in this Paragraph and not otherwise.

(2) Objections to the contents of affidavits of evidence-in-chief filed pursuant to an order of the Court made under rule 482, or rule 583 of the Family Justice Rules, or otherwise, must be taken by filing and serving a notice in Form 246 of Appendix A.

(3) The notice in Form 246 should set out all the objections to the contents of affidavits of evidence-in-chief that will be raised at the hearing of the cause or matter and all the grounds thereof.

(4) An adjudication on the material objected to in affidavits of evidence-in-chief filed pursuant to an order of the Court should only be sought at the trial or hearing of the cause or matter for which the affidavits of evidence-in-chief were filed, and not before. If an adjudication is sought prior to the trial or hearing of the cause or matter, the application for the adjudication will be adjourned to be dealt with at the trial or hearing of the cause or matter, and the applicant may be ordered to pay the costs of the adjournment.

114. Draft orders of Court

(1) Draft orders for inter partes applications

(a) Rules 676(1), (2) and (3) of the Family Justice Rules places the burden of approving the drafts of inter partes judgments and orders on the solicitors themselves. The solicitors should therefore approve the drafts and not submit these drafts to the Registrar for approval.

(b) The Registrar’s signature on a judgment or order is only for the purpose of validity and does not in any way affect the regularity or irregularity of the contents of any judgment or order.

(c) Subject to sub-paragraph (d), parties in inter partes applications should proceed to engross a final copy of the draft judgment for signature by the Registrar after agreeing on the draft. Draft orders of Court for ex parte applications (except probate matters) may be submitted with the summons and the supporting affidavit when these are filed.

(d) For draft orders in electronic form that are composed online through the Electronic Filing Service, the process for extracting judgments and orders shall be as follows:

(i) Parties have the option of filing a system-generated order of court through the Electronic Filing Service.

(ii) Before filing the system-generated order of court, the party extracting the order must review and edit the order of court electronic form to ensure that it accurately reflects the orders made by the Court and obtain the approval of all other parties to the application and provide evidence of such approval when filing the draft order of court, for example, a Portable Document Format (PDF) copy of a draft order of court signed by the solicitors of all parties to the application.

(e) Where parties disagree over one or more terms of the order of court, the party filing the draft order of court shall be responsible for including in the order of court electronic form all versions of the disputed terms by editing the order of court electronic form. All relevant correspondence concerning the dispute must be provided when filing the draft order of court.

(f) The Registry will seal and issue an engrossed order of court once its terms are approved.

(g) Rules 676(4) to (6) of the Family Justice Rules shall continue to apply.

115. Unnecessary extraction of orders of Court

(1) Certain orders are extracted by parties when such orders need not be drawn up under the Family Justice Rules. The attention of solicitors is drawn to rule 677 of the Family Justice Rules in this regard.

(2) To reduce unnecessary documentation and to expedite proceedings, solicitors are requested not to extract orders that need not be drawn up.

Orders relating to disposition or transfer of property

(1) In any request or application for a consent judgment or order involving any disposition or transfer of property, the parties must provide the following information to the Court:

(a) the identity of the owner of the property subject to disposition or transfer;

(b) whether the owner of the property is incapacitated by reason of insolvency from effecting a disposition or transfer of the property;

(c) whether the property is subject to any encumbrance which would affect a disposition or transfer thereof;

(d) where Central Provident Fund (“CPF”) funds were utilised in the acquisition of the property, the CPF Checklist for Consent Orders in Form 246A in Appendix A to these Practice Directions; and

(e) any other relevant information which ought to be considered by the Court in granting the consent judgment or order.

(2) The Court may require the information referred to in sub-paragraph (1) to be provided by way of an affidavit, which should exhibit the relevant searches where applicable.

Recording of consent orders

(3) For the convenience of parties and to expedite the recording of consent orders agreed between parties, parties can apply for the grant of a consent order by submitting a draft consent order in the following manner, in addition to seeking such orders at hearings:-

(a) before any judge sitting in case conference for that case;

(b) before a duty judge;

(c) before any Judge-Mediator; or

(d) via correspondence.

Content of the draft consent order

(4) When an agreement has been reached between the parties on the custody and care of children, access to them, maintenance, division of matrimonial assets or other ancillary matters subsequent to the granting of an interim judgment (“the agreement”), a draft consent order may be prepared for submission to the Court for an order in terms of the agreement.

(5) The draft consent order must be signed —

(a) in the case where any party is represented, by that parties’ counsel; or

(b) in the case where any party is unrepresented and another is represented, by that represented party personally and subject to the following requirements:

(i) the signature of that unrepresented party must be witnessed by an advocate and solicitor or a commissioner for oaths not acting for any of the other parties in the proceedings.

(ii) the counsel for the represented party or parties shall inform the unrepresented party of his/her right to seek legal advice before the unrepresented party signs the draft consent order.

(iii) the following endorsement shall be inserted immediately below the unrepresented party’s signature.

“I acknowledge that I have considered the terms of the agreement and have also been informed of my right to seek independent legal advice.”

(c) in the case where all parties are unrepresented, by the parties personally and their signatures must be witnessed by an advocate and solicitor or a commissioner for oaths.

(6) [deleted]

(7) The document name selected for the filing of the draft consent order in the Electronic Filing Service is “Draft Consent Order”.

Recording a consent order in the manner set out in sub-paragraph (3)(a) to (c)

(8) Counsel shall file the draft consent order incorporating the agreement in the prescribed template in the Electronic Filing Service at least 5 working days prior to the appearance in sub-paragraph (3)(a) to (c) above.

(9) If the draft consent order has not been electronically filed in the Electronic Filing Service by the time of the appearance, a physical copy of the draft consent order bearing the signature of both parties or their counsel must be submitted in court for the approval of the Court during the appearance before the judge.

Recording a consent order in the manner set out in sub-paragraph (3)(d)

(10) Parties may file a draft consent order and via correspondence to the Court, request for an order in terms in accordance with sub-paragraph (3)(d) above. The Court may consider and approve the draft consent order submitted by the parties, and grant an order in terms of the same before the next date of appearance in Court. The next date of appearance in Court will then be vacated thus obviating the need for the parties to attend in Court for the sole purpose of recording the consent order. In such a situation, the Court will notify parties of the grant of the consent order through a Registrar’s Notice.

Extracting an Order granted by Consent

(11) Parties need not submit a further draft consent order for approval after the hearing.

(12) Counsel need only file the engrossed copy of the consent order after the draft consent order is granted.

117. Judgment Interest

(1) Pursuant to the Chief Justice’s directions as provided for under Order 42, Rule 12 of the Rules of Court, unless it has been otherwise agreed between the parties, interest payable after the date of judgment shall be 5.33% per annum until further notice and calculated to the date the judgment is satisfied. The Court retains the discretion under rule 680 of the Family Justice Rules to revise the default rate of interest to such other rate not exceeding the default rate on the facts of the individual case.

Interest on costs

(2) Pursuant to the Chief Justice’s directions as provided for under rule 887(1) of the Family Justice Rules, interest payable from the relevant date(s) as stipulated in rule 887(1) shall be 5.33% per annum until further notice and calculated to the date of payment.

Pre-judgment interest

(5) The Chief Justice has directed that solicitors may wish to submit to the Court to consider that the interest rate for the period prior to the date of judgment should be the default interest rate of 5.33% per annum. Solicitors should note that the Court retains the overriding discretion to depart from the default interest rate based on the facts of the individual case.

118. Filing of writs of execution through the Electronic Filing Service

(1) An application for a writ of execution shall be made by way of filing a writ of execution in Form 137, 138, 139, 140 or 164 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(2) The writ of execution is deemed to be issued when it is sealed by an officer of the Registry pursuant to rule 707 of the Family Justice Rules.

(3) The previous practice of filing a Request to issue a writ of execution is discontinued.

119. Sale of immovable property

(1) If an execution creditor wishes to effect the sale of immovable property seized under a writ of seizure and sale, he shall file the requisite electronic form Request for sale to the Bailiff through the Electronic Filing Service stating the following:

(a) the date of registration (and expiry) at the Singapore Land Registry of the order of court/writ of seizure and sale on immovable property;

(b) that a copy of the order of court/writ of seizure and sale on the immovable property has been served on the execution debtor; and

(c) whether the immovable property is subject to any mortgage or charge, and if so, that the mortgagee or chargee consents to the sale.

(2) The Bailiff shall not be required to proceed with the sale if the immovable property is subject to a mortgage or charge and the execution creditor is unable to produce the written consent of the mortgagee or chargee to the sale.

(3) If the Bailiff proceeds with the sale of the immovable property, the Bailiff may appoint any solicitor on his behalf to settle the particulars and conditions of sale.

(4) The Bailiff’s instructions to a solicitor appointed to sell the immovable property shall include the following:

(a) that the Bailiff may require more than one valuation report to be submitted by a certified appraiser before proceeding with the sale;

(b) that the sale may be conducted by a licensed auctioneer and the immovable property may be offered for sale by way of private treaty, tender, auction or such other manner as the licensed auctioneer may advise;

(c) that the immovable property shall not be sold at a price below the forced sale value as specified in the valuation report, or if there exists two or more valuation reports, in the latest valuation report; and

(d) that the solicitor shall prepare all necessary conditions of sale, documentation, accounts and particulars on behalf of the Bailiff in accordance with the Bailiff’s directions, and shall be entitled to recover his legal fees and disbursements.

120. Writs of execution & writs of distress – movable property

(1) Bailiff to inform execution debtor of the seizure and/or sale

Prior to the seizure and/or sale, the Bailiff will notify the execution debtor, as far as is practicable, of the impending seizure and/or sale.

(2) Execution creditor or his authorised representative to be present at the seizure and/or sale

(a) The execution creditor or his authorised representative must be present with the Bailiff at the appointed date and time of any seizure and/or sale.

(b) If the execution creditor or his authorised representative is absent at the appointed date and time of the seizure and/or sale, the execution creditor shall be deemed to have abandoned the same.

(3) Requests for the Bailiff’s ad hoc attendance

(a) If any person requires the Bailiff to attend at any place in connection with any order of court or writ of execution or writ of distress whether during or after office hours for any purpose, that person must file a Request in the appropriate electronic form through the Electronic Filing Service. A Request for attendance made in any other manner will not be acceded to.

(b) The fees payable in respect of any such attendance by the Bailiff shall be as prescribed in the Rules of Court or as determined by the Registrar.

(4) Effecting entry into premises

Where the execution creditor requests the Bailiff to exercise his powers of entry into the premises of the execution debtor, the following conditions shall apply:

(a) save in special circumstances, entry shall only be effected on the second or subsequent appointment or attempt;

(b) the Bailiff may, in any case, refuse to effect the entry without assigning any reason; and

(c) the execution creditor shall at his expense, upon the direction of the Bailiff, engage any security personnel, locksmith or any other person or facility as the Bailiff deems appropriate to assist in effecting entry into the premises and the execution process.

(5) Valuation Report

The execution creditor or his solicitors shall, at the Bailiff’s request, furnish a written valuation report of the item(s) that is/are the subject matter of the seizure.

(6) Auctions

(a) Scheduled auctions

If a scheduled auction is not proceeded with, or is abandoned due to the absence of the execution creditor or his authorised representative, the Bailiff may at his discretion release any or all of the items seized.

(b) Sale by auctioneer

Where the value of the property seized is estimated by the Bailiff to not exceed $2,000, the auction shall be carried out by an authorised auctioneer engaged by the execution creditor, and all costs and expenses incurred in connection with the auction shall be borne by the execution creditor and may be added to the judgment debt.

121. Requests for the Bailiff’s Attendance

(1) Where any party requires the bailiffs to:

(a) attend at the place of execution at any time after the first attendance, whether during or after office hours, for the purposes of executing a writ of execution or distress or to arrest a debtor, or any other purpose;

(b) to proceed with the auction of property under seizure; or

(c) to release property under seizure

he or she must do so by filing the requisite Request in Form 247 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions for attendance electronic form to the Bailiff through the Electronic Filing Service. A Request for attendance made in any other manner will not be acceded to.

(2) The fees prescribed by Part 19 to the Family Justice Rules will be payable in respect of any attendance by the bailiffs pursuant to a Request made in Form 247.

122. Examination of Judgment Debtor

(1) A questionnaire in the recommended format as set out in Form 248 or 249 of Appendix A (whichever is appropriate) shall be annexed to the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor when the said Order is served on the Judgment Debtor. Solicitors may modify the questions according to the circumstances of each case.

(2) If the Judgment Debtor or his solicitor is of the view that any question is unreasonable, he is to contact the solicitor for the Judgment Creditor to ascertain whether the issue can be resolved prior to the hearing.

(3) At the hearing, the answered questionnaire is to be produced to the Registrar and received as evidence upon the Judgment Debtor’s confirmation on oath that his answers provided are true and correct. Counsel for the Judgment Creditor may then apply to discharge the Judgment Debtor or proceed with further questioning.

(4) The Judgment Debtor need not attend at the examination hearing if:

(a) he is able to provide his answers to the questionnaire by way of an affidavit or statutory declaration; and

(b) the counsel for the Judgment Creditor agrees to discharge the Order for Examination at the examination hearing.

123. Committal proceedings

An applicant seeking to lift a suspension order under rule 763(3) of the Family Justice Rules to enforce committal orders must prepare his or her own Warrant in accordance with Form 161 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions and bring the same to the hearing.

124. Appeals

(1) Any appeal filed on or after 1st October 2014 against the decision or order of a District Judge of the Family Justice Courts made in any family court proceedings shall be made to the Family Division of the High Court.

(2) Any appeal filed on or after 1st October 2014 against the decision or order of the Registrar or Deputy Registrar or Assistant Registrar of the Family Justice Courts made in any family court proceedings shall be made to a District Judge of the Family Justice Courts.

(3) Any appeal filed on or after 1st October 2014 against the decision or order of the Registrar, Deputy Registrar or Assistant Registrar of the Family Justice Courts made in any Family Division of the High Court proceedings shall be made to the Family Division of the High Court.

(4) Any appeal filed on or after 1st October 2014 against the decision or order of a District Judge of the State Courts made in any family court proceedings shall be made to the Family Division of the High Court, and any appeal filed on or after 1st October 2014 against the decision or order of the Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the State Courts made in any family court proceedings shall be made to a District Judge of the Family Justice Courts.

(5) The appeals counter of the Family Justice Courts Registry is located in the Family Registry of the Family Justice Courts Building at 3 Havelock Square Singapore 059725.

125. Filing of records of appeal and written cases

Filing of records of appeal and written cases for appeals filed on or after 1 January 2015 from the Family Courts to the Family Division of the High Court under Part 18 Division 60 of the Family Justice Rules

(1) In practice, the District Judges may furnish grounds of decision, and if so, within 8 weeks of the filing of the notice of appeal although the furnishing of grounds of decision is not a requirement under the Part 18 Division 60 of the Family Justice Rules.

(2) To facilitate the conduct of appeal hearings before the Judge of the Family Division of the High Court in Chambers, parties are required to file the following documents prior to the appeal hearing:

(a) the appellant shall, within one week from the date of the release of the notes of evidence and grounds of decision (if any), file his submission, the record of appeal, and where the record of appeal exceeds 1000 pages, a core bundle, and serve a copy thereof on every respondent to the appeal or his solicitor; and

(b) the respondent shall, within one week from the date of the service of the documents referred to in sub-paragraph (2)(a), file his submission and a supplemental core bundle, where necessary, and serve a copy thereof on the appellant or his solicitor.

(3) The submissions to be filed by parties shall set out as concisely as possible:

(a) the circumstances out of which the appeal arises;

(b) the issues arising in the appeal;

(c) the contentions to be urged by the party filing it and the authorities in support thereof; and

(d) the reasons for or against the appeal, as the case may be.

(4) The parties shall file together with their submissions a bundle of authorities relied on by the Court below as well as other authorities to be relied on at the hearing of the appeal and serve such bundle of authorities on the other party.

(5) The record of appeal shall consist of:

(a) the notice of appeal;

(b) the certified copy of the grounds of decision;

(c) the certified copy of the notes of evidence;

(d) the originating process and all subsequent pleadings;

(e) the affidavits filed or referred to by parties for the hearing and any other documents, so far as relevant to the matter decided and the nature of the appeal; and

(f) the judgment or order appealed from.

(6) The core bundle shall contain a copy of:

(a) the grounds of decision;

(b) the judgment or order appealed from;

(c) the documents, including notes of evidence, pleadings and affidavits or portions thereof that are of particular relevance to any question in the appeal or that will be referred to at the appeal; and

(d) an index of the documents included therein, which shall cross-refer each document to its location in the record of appeal.

(7) If the respondent intends to refer to documents at the appeal that are not included in the core bundle filed by the appellant, the respondent shall file a supplemental core bundle that contains a copy of the documents, together with an index of the documents which shall cross-refer each document to its location in the record of appeal.

(8) The core bundle filed by the appellant shall not exceed 100 pages and the supplemental core bundle filed by the respondent shall not exceed 50 pages. In computing the number of pages, the copy of the order appealed from, the grounds of decision and the index of documents shall be excluded. The Judge of the Family Division of the High Court may take into consideration any failure to comply with this direction in deciding the costs to be awarded at the hearing of the appeal.

(9) The submissions, the record of appeal, the core bundle and the respondent’s core bundle shall be filed at the appeals counter of the Registry of the Family Justice Courts.

(10) In order to assist the Judge hearing the appeal, the appellant and the respondent are to tender one hard copy of the record of appeal, submissions and the core bundle, where applicable, as well as any bundle of authorities to be relied upon to the Correspondence Clearance Centre at Level 1, Supreme Court Building not less than 10 days before the hearing of the appeal.

Filing of records of appeal and written cases for appeals filed after 1 October 2014 and before 1 January 2015 on ancillary matters or custody matters or s17A(2) SCJA proceedings from the Family Courts to the Family Division of the High Court under Order 55C of Rules of Court

(11) Appeals filed after 1 October 2014 and before 1 January 2015 against final orders made by a District Judge in chambers on ancillary matters in matrimonial proceedings under the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353), custody proceedings under the Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap. 122) or proceedings pursuant to section 17A(2) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap. 322) are governed by Order 55C of the Rules of Court. In practice, the District Judges furnish grounds of decision within 8 weeks of the filing of the notice of appeal although the furnishing of grounds of decision is not a requirement under the Rules of Court.

(12) To facilitate the conduct of appeal hearings before the Judge of the Family Division of the High Court in Chambers, parties are required to file the following documents prior to the appeal hearing:

(a) the appellant shall, within one week from the date of the release of the notes of evidence and grounds of decision, file his submission, the record of appeal, and where the record of appeal exceeds 1000 pages, a core bundle, and serve a copy thereof on every respondent to the appeal or his solicitor; and

(b) the respondent shall, within one week from the date of the service of the documents referred to in sub-paragraph (12)(a), file his submission and a supplemental core bundle, where necessary, and serve a copy thereof on the appellant or his solicitor.

(13) Sub-paragraphs (3) to (10) apply to such appeals.

126. Appeals before the Family Division of the High Court from tribunal or person under Part 18 Division 55 of the Family Justice Rules

(1) Rule 805(4) of the Family Justice Rules states that it is the appellant’s duty to apply to the Judge or other person presiding at the proceedings in which the decision appealed against was given, for the signed copy of any note made by him of the proceedings and to furnish that copy for the use of the Court. For the avoidance of doubt, the onus is on the appellant to file a record of proceedings, comprising the signed copy of the notes of proceedings, and any further grounds of decision, in the Family Division of the High Court.

(2) The appellant and the respondent are to tender one hard copy of the notes of proceedings, grounds of decision and any skeletal arguments or bundles of authorities to be relied upon to the Correspondence Clearance Centre at Level 1, Supreme Court Building not less than 7 days before the hearing of the appeal, to assist the Judge of the Family Division of the High Court.

(3) No affidavits shall be filed in respect of the appeal without the leave of court.

127. Skeletal arguments for appeals before the Family Division of the High Court

(1) This paragraph does not apply to appeals from Registrar to a Judge in Chambers.

(2) The term “skeletal arguments” includes “skeletal submissions”, “written submissions”, “written arguments” and all other variant terms by which such documents are known.

(3) Counsel should submit skeletal arguments for the hearing of the appeal or matter and give a copy to counsel for the other parties. Hard copies of skeletal arguments may be printed on one side or both sides of each page.

(4) Skeletal arguments are abbreviated notes of the arguments that will be presented. Skeletal arguments are not formal documents and do not bind parties. They are a valuable tool to the Judges and are meant to expedite the hearing of the appeal. These notes should comply with the following requirements:

(a) they should contain a numbered list of the points proposed to be argued, stated in no more than one or 2 sentences;

(b) each listed point should be accompanied by a full reference to the material to which counsel will be referring, i.e., the relevant pages or passages in authorities, the record of appeal, the bundles of documents, affidavits, transcripts and the judgment under appeal;

(c) all pages should be paginated, with the first page (not including any cover page) numbered as “Page 1”;

(d) the minimum font size to be used is Times New Roman 12 or its equivalent;

(e) the print of every page shall be double-spaced; and

(f) every page shall have a margin on all 4 sides, each of at least 35mm in width.

Timelines for submission of skeletal arguments for appeal

(5) Where the appeal is a civil appeal before the Family Division of the High Court, the skeletal arguments should be sent to the Correspondence Clearance Centre at Level 1, Supreme Court Building at least 7 days before the hearing of the appeal.

128. Use of presentation slides for all proceedings before the Family Division of the High Court

Subject to approval by the Court, parties may utilise presentation slides to assist in oral submissions before the Court. Presentation slides may be projected in the courtroom or hearing chambers when oral submissions are made. Presentation slides shall comply with the following standards:

Typeface

(1) A clear typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman should be used; care should be taken to ensure that the font used is of at least a size equivalent to Arial font size 32. Bold and italicised fonts should be used sparingly.

Colours

(2) There should be sufficient contrast between the slide background and text: it is preferable to use black or dark fonts with a light background. The colours used in slide backgrounds should be muted and preferably monochromatic.

Animation and sounds

(3) Animation of slides or elements within a slide should be avoided; similarly, sounds should not be incorporated in the presentation slides unless they are necessary.

Corporate logos

(4) Corporate logos of the law practice may be displayed on the presentation slides. Care should be taken to ensure that the size and location of corporate logos do not distract from the substance of the presentation slides.

129. Request for waiver or deferment of court fees in Family Division of the High Court

A request for the waiver or deferment of the whole or any part of any appeal court fees under rule 998 of the Family Justice Rules must be supported by an affidavit in Form 250 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions. The affidavit in Form 250 must verify Form 251 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions.

130. Basis of taxation

Every bill of costs to be taxed pursuant to a judgment or order of court must be filed together with a copy of the judgment or order of court. Where an order for taxation is not required under the Family Justice Rules, the bill of costs shall describe succinctly in its heading the basis of taxation. A bill of costs for taxation between a solicitor and his client pursuant to section 120(3) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161) must be filed together with a copy of the document signifying the consent of the parties to taxation.

131. Form of bills of costs

The attention of solicitors is drawn to rules 875 and 882 and Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Family Justice Rules. In addition, solicitors are to abide by the following requirements in relation to the form of bills of costs.

(1) Margins

A blank margin of not less than 10 mm wide must be provided on all four sides for each page of the bill of costs.

(2) Pagination

Every page of a bill of costs must be paginated consecutively at the centre of the top of the page. The attention of solicitors is drawn to Paragraph 146 of these Practice Directions in regard to pagination of documents filed using the electronic filing service.

(3) Format

(a) Party-and-party bills

(i) A bill of costs drawn up for taxation between one party to proceedings and another should be divided into three separate sections as required by rule 875 of the Family Justice Rules.

(ii) Form 252 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions should be used for contentious business in respect of work done for a trial or in contemplation of a trial.

(iii) Form 253 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions should be used for contentious business in respect of, or in contemplation of, work done other than for a trial (such as work done for an appeal or for a specific interlocutory application).

(b) Solicitor-and-own-client bills

(i) A bill of costs drawn up for taxation (pursuant to any written law) between a solicitor and his own client should be drawn up in the same manner described in sub-sub paragraph (a) above save as follows:

(A) A solicitor will be deemed to have indicated that all items included in the bill are in relation to work done or disbursements incurred with the approval of the client.

(B) Any agreement, whether oral or in writing, between the solicitor and his own client relating to the amount of costs payable either as a global sum or in respect of particular items included in the bill should be indicated on the bill.

(C) Any agreement between the solicitor and his own client as to the rate to be used to compute the solicitor’s costs should also be indicated in the bill.

(ii) Form 254 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions should be used for non-contentious business.

(c) Specimen bills

Specimen bills illustrating the use of Forms 252, 253 and 254 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions are included in Appendix C for the guidance of solicitors.

(4) Particulars

(a) Sufficient particulars must be included in the bill of costs so as to enable the Registrar to exercise his discretion under paragraph 1(2) in Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Family Justice Rules.

(b) Without prejudice to sub-paragraph (3), the Registrar may, at the taxation hearing, order the claiming or receiving party to furnish full details in support of the sums claimed under the bill.

(c) Each bill of costs submitted to the Court through the Electronic Filing Service must —

(i) be in Portable Document Format (PDF);

(ii) comply with these Practice Directions; and

(iii) be accompanied by a bill of costs composed online through the Electronic Filing Service.

(d) The information required by the Electronic Filing Service to compose the bill of costs summary includes the costs claimed under Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the bill of costs.

(5) Goods and Services Tax

A party claiming goods and services tax (hereinafter referred to as “GST”) in a bill of costs must comply with the directions set out in this sub-paragraph. A party who fails to comply with the directions set out in this sub-paragraph will be presumed not to be claiming GST in the bill concerned.

(a) GST registration number

(i) The GST registration number allocated by the Comptroller of Goods and Services Tax to the solicitors for the receiving party or parties should appear at the top left hand corner of the first page of the bill of costs.

(ii) The GST registration numbers, if any, allocated to the receiving parties or to any one or more of them, as the case may be, must also appear at the top left hand corner of the first page of the bill of cost.

(iii) The GST registration numbers should be indicated as follows: “GST Reg. No. (solicitors for plaintiff/solicitors for 1st defendant/2nd defendant/(or as the case may be)) : xxxxx.”

(iv) Where no GST registration number has been allocated to a receiving party, a statement to this effect should be included after the GST registration numbers of the solicitors for the receiving parties, or the receiving parties, as the case may be, in the following manner: “ Solicitors for plaintiff/solicitors for 1st defendant/2nd defendant/(or as the case may be) : no GST Reg. No.”

(b) Input tax allowable

The proportion of input tax for which the receiving parties, or one or more of them, are not entitled to credit should be stated, as a percentage, in parentheses after the GST registration number of the party or parties concerned. For a person who is not liable to be registered within the meaning of the First Schedule to the Goods and Services Tax Act (Cap. 117A), this proportion should be 100%.

(c) Apportionment

(i) The first section of the bill of costs should set out the work done in the cause or matter except for taxation of costs. The amount of costs claimed for work done should be divided into as many parts corresponding with the different rates of GST applicable pursuant to section 16 of the Goods and Services Tax Act, its predecessor and any subsequent amendments thereto. Each part should state the global sum of costs claimed and the applicable GST rate for the relevant period.

(ii) The second section which sets out the work done for and in the taxation of costs should describe the work done, the sum of costs claimed and the applicable GST rate.

(iii) The third section, which sets out the disbursements made in the cause or matter, should first set out the disbursements on which no GST is chargeable by the solicitors for the receiving party or the receiving party as the case may be. For the disbursements on which GST is chargeable, it shall be divided into as many parts corresponding with the number of different rates of GST applicable pursuant to section 16 of the Goods and Services Tax Act, its predecessor and any subsequent amendments thereto. Each part should set out the disbursements on which GST is chargeable by the solicitors for the receiving party or the receiving party, as the case may be and the applicable GST rate. For example, for a matter which commenced in 1998 and concluded with a judgment in March 2003, with regard to disbursements on which GST is chargeable, the first part will set out the disbursements incurred on or before 1 January 2003 and the amount claimed for GST at the rate of 3%, while the second part will set out the disbursements incurred on or after 1 January 2003 and the amount claimed for GST at the rate of 4%. If a claim is made for disbursements incurred on or after 1 January 2004, the second part will set out the disbursements incurred on or after 1 January 2003 and before 1 January 2004, the amount claimed for GST at the rate of 4%, followed by a third part which shall set out the disbursements incurred on or after 1 January 2004 and the amount claimed for GST at the rate of 5% (or the applicable rate pursuant to section 16 of the Goods and Services Tax Act).

(d) Summaries of the GST claimed for work done

The following information as is applicable should be included at the end of the first and of the second sections:

(i) the global sum of costs claimed for work done during each period for which a different rate of GST applies or no GST applies;

(ii) the proportion, as a percentage, of input tax for which the receiving parties, or one or more of them, are not entitled to credit;

(iii) a quantification of the input tax on the costs claimed in the section concerned for which the receiving parties, or one or more of them, are not entitled to credit; and

(iv) quantifications of the GST claimed at the applicable rate on the costs claimed in the section concerned.

(e) Summary of the GST claimed for disbursements

The following information as is applicable should be included at the end of the third section:

(i) a summation of the disbursements on which no GST is chargeable by the solicitors for the receiving party or the receiving party, as the case may be;

(ii) a summation of the disbursements on which GST is chargeable by the solicitors for the receiving party or the receiving party, as the case may be;

(iii) the proportion, as a percentage, of input tax for which the receiving parties, or one or more of them, are not entitled to credit;

(iv) a quantification of the input tax on the disbursements on which GST is chargeable by the solicitors for the receiving party for which the receiving parties, or one or more of them, are not entitled to credit; and

(v) quantifications of the GST claimed at the applicable rates on the disbursements.

(f) Registrar’s certificate

The total amount of GST allowed on a bill of costs will be indicated as a separate item in the Registrar’s certificate. Solicitors are responsible for ensuring that the GST figures accurately reflect the sums allowed by the Registrar.

132. Registrar’s Certificate

(1) There is no necessity for solicitors to collect the taxed bill of costs from the Registry to prepare the Registrar’s Certificate.

(2) As the Registrar’s Certificate of costs under rule 883 of the Family Justice Rules will be composed online based on the summary in the bill of costs, solicitors should ensure that the information contained in the summary in the bill of costs accurately reflects the information contained in the bill of costs submitted.

(3) Solicitors should also ensure that the amounts claimed for goods and services tax (GST) in the Registrar’s Certificate are correct.

(4) The procedure for the preparation of draft orders set out in these Practice Directions shall, with the necessary modifications, apply to the preparation of the Registrar’s Certificate.

(5) For the avoidance of doubt —

(a) the Registrar’s Certificate shall be filed as a Portable Document Format (PDF) document for bills of costs filed before 30 September 2013; and

(b) for all other cases, the Registrar’s Certificate shall be composed online through the Electronic Filing Service.

133. Objections

(1) In any disputed taxation involving party-and-party bills of costs, solicitors presenting the bill for taxation shall observe the following procedure:

(a) the respective solicitors shall confer prior to the date appointed for taxation with a view to resolving, limiting or clarifying the items in dispute; and

(b) any objections in principle or as to quantum of the items claimed in a bill of costs must be indicated by the filing and service of a Notice of Dispute in Form 255 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions at least 7 days before the date fixed by the Registrar for the taxation of the bill of costs.

(2) The Registrar may, in his discretion, make any appropriate orders as to costs if any of the above directions have not been complied with.

(3) The Notice of Dispute shall be filed through the Electronic Filing Service in Portable Document Format (PDF) and be accompanied by a Notice of Dispute summary, the electronic form of which will be composed online through the Electronic Filing Service.

(4) The information required by the Electronic Filing Service to compose the Notice of Dispute summary includes the amounts of costs to be awarded under Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the bill of costs according to the respondent.

134. Amount allowed as disbursement on account of use of electronic transmission

(1) If a document is filed using the Electronic Filing Service, $0.40 for each page of the document thus filed shall be allowed as costs between parties to proceedings. Such costs may be claimed by a receiving party from the paying party where the receiving party is entitled to costs for the filing of the document. These costs shall be allowed in addition to all other disbursements and Court fees.

(2) This Paragraph shall apply to the taxation of costs as well as cases where the Court fixes a gross sum in lieu of taxation.

(3) This Paragraph shall not apply to any document filed through the service bureau.

(1) The directions contained in this Paragraph shall be complied with in respect of all taxations in which the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid is involved.

(2) For all taxations in which the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid is involved —

(a) the receiving party must, prior to the filing of the bill of costs in Court through the Electronic Filing Service, send the bill of costs to be filed to the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid, as the case may be;

(b) the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid should then inform the receiving party whether he/she agrees or disagrees with the amounts claimed in the bill of costs;

(c) when filing the bill of costs in Court through the Electronic Filing Service, the receiving party must state whether the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid agrees or disagrees with the amounts claimed in the bill of costs; and

(d) the bill of costs should also be served on the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid, as the case may be, on the same day that the bill of costs is filed.

(3) If the Public Trustee or the Director of Legal Aid (as the case may be), agrees with the amounts claimed in the bill of costs, then —

(a) for solicitor-and-client bills filed pursuant to the Legal Aid and Advice Act (Cap. 160) where the Director of Legal Aid is the respondent, the receiving party and the Director of Legal Aid need not attend at the taxation and the bill will be taxed in their absence, except that if the taxing Registrar disagrees with the quantum of costs agreed on, he may nonetheless direct the attendance of the Director of Legal Aid at a later date.

136. Fixing costs in lieu of ordering taxation

(1) The Court may, where appropriate, fix costs at the end of a hearing or trial in lieu of ordering taxation. Counsel should therefore be prepared to make submissions on the entitlement to and quantum of costs at the end of a hearing or trial, whether before or after judgment is delivered.

(2) Counsel should note that the Court may fix costs where costs have been ordered to be in the cause, or on hearing applications for dismissal or striking out pursuant to an unless order, and be prepared to make submissions accordingly.

137. Costs Scheduling

(1) The directions contained in this paragraph shall apply to:

(a) trials in for all writ actions and originating summonses ordered to be continued as if the cause or matter had been begun by writ; and

(b) originating summonses involving cross-examination of any deponent.

(2) Each party to the proceedings described in sub-paragraph (1) shall be required to file a costs schedule using Form 256 in Appendix A of these Practice Directions. The costs schedule should set out with sufficient particularity the quantum of party-and-party costs and disbursements that the party intends to claim in the event that the party succeeds.

(3) The relevant costs schedule will be taken into account for the purposes of assessing the quantum of costs to be awarded for the proceedings.

(4) The costs schedule for the proceedings described in sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) shall be filed together with the parties’ written closing submissions or, where there are no written closing submissions, before the parties’ oral closing submissions are presented.

138. Operating hours of the Family Justice Courts

The various courts, offices and counters within the Family Justice Courts have different operating hours. These operating hours may be found the Family Justice Courts’ website at http://www.familyjusticecourts.gov.sg.

139. Hours for the sittings of the Family Justice Courts

(1) The hours for the sittings of the Family Justice Courts shall be as follows, subject to the presiding Judge’s/Magistrate’s/ Registrar’s discretion in any case to conclude a sitting at such earlier or later time as he may direct:

Family Courts

(a) Mentions Courts

Mondays to Fridays - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and

2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

(b) Hearing Courts and Chambers_

Mondays to Fridays - 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and

2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Youth Courts

(c) Mentions Courts

Mondays to Fridays - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and

2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

(d) Hearing Courts and Chambers

Mondays to Fridays - 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and

2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Family Division of the High Court

(e) Registrar’s Chambers

Mondays to Fridays - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and

2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

(f) Hearing Courts and Chambers

Mondays to Fridays - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and

2:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

140. Application

(1) The directions contained in Paragraphs 140 to 154 shall apply to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Part 18 Division 68 of the Family Justice Rules.

(2) All other Paragraphs in these Practice Directions shall also apply to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Part 18 Division 68 of the Family Justice Rules, except and to the extent that the contrary is specified.

(3) If anything in this Part has the effect of modifying any other direction, whether expressly or impliedly, then such other direction shall apply in relation to the filing, service, delivery and conveyance of documents under Part 18 Division 68 of the Family Justice Rules with such modification.

(4) Where the words and phrases set out in rule 913 of the Family Justice Rules are used in this Part, they shall have the same meaning as defined in rule 913 of the Family Justice Rules, unless otherwise specified.

141. Establishment of Electronic Filing Service and appointment of network service provider

In exercise of the powers conferred by rules 914 and 915 of the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar, with the approval of the Chief Justice, hereby —

(a) establishes an Electronic Filing Service known as the Integrated Electronic Litigation System or eLitigation and accessible at http://www.elitigation.sg; and

(b) appoints CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd as the Electronic Filing Service provider for this service, with the Electronic Litigation Systems Committee of the Singapore Academy of law as its superintendent pursuant to Rule 13A(2) of the Singapore Academy of Law Rules (Cap. 294A, Rule 1).

142. Appointment of agent to establish service bureau

Pursuant to rule 917 of the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar hereby appoints CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd as an agent to establish a service bureau at 133 New Bridge Road #19-01/02 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413 (or such other address in Singapore as may be deemed suitable), with the Electronic Litigation Systems Committee of the Singapore Academy of Law as its superintendent pursuant to Rule 13A(2) of the Singapore Academy of Law Rules (Cap. 294A, Rule 1).

143. Registered users and authorised users

(1) Under Part 18 Division 68 of the Family Justice Rules, any entity may apply to be a registered user and a registered user may designate one or more of its partners, directors, officers or employees to be an authorised user. Such applications shall be dealt with by the eLitigation Project Director. For the purpose of Part 18 Division 68 of the Family Justice Rules, the identification code of an authorised user shall be his or her SingPass ID.

(2) The following procedures shall apply to applications to become a registered user and for designating authorised users:

(a) The application to become a registered user must be made to the eLitigation Project Director using Form 257 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions. In Form 257, the registered user must nominate at least one authorised user. Form 257 must be accompanied by the following:

(i) a recent business profile report from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of the registered user;

(ii) an application form including the subscriber agreement for subscription to the Electronic Filing Service; and

(iii) two sets of GIRO application forms for the electronic payment of filing and hearing fees and electronic filing and other charges.

(b) After the application to become a registered user has been approved, the application forms for subscription to the Electronic Filing Service and GIRO electronic payment will be forwarded to the Electronic Filing Service provider.

(c) After the Electronic Filing Service provider has processed the applications and made arrangements for GIRO electronic payments, the registered user will be provided access to his or her Electronic Filing Service account. The initial authorised user may designate additional authorised users by providing the identification code of each authorised user to be added through the administration module of the Electronic Filing Service.

(3) Registered users approved hereunder shall be deemed to be approved by the Registrar of the Family Justice Courts. Registered users shall be responsible for all transactions conducted and liable for all fees and charges incurred by any of their designated authorised users in the Electronic Filing Service.

(4) The registered user shall be responsible for ensuring that the list of designated authorised users is kept updated at all times through the administration module of the Electronic Filing Service and for updating the eLitigation Project Director of any changes in the list of its advocates and solicitors in accordance with the procedure stated in sub-paragraph (5) below.

(5) A registered user shall submit to the eLitigation Project Director on an annual basis, and in any event by the end of May each year, a list of its advocates and solicitors as at the 1st of May of each year.

(6) Additionally, a registered user may at any time submit to the eLitigation Project Director an updated list of its advocates and solicitors in the event of any significant change in the number of its advocates and solicitors.

144. Documents which must be filed, served, delivered etc., using the Electronic Filing Service

(1) Pursuant to rules 913 and 920 of the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar hereby specifies that all documents to be filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar in all proceedings, subject to the exceptions which appear later in this Paragraph, must be so filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed using the Electronic Filing Service.

(2) It shall not be necessary to use the Electronic Filing Service in respect of the following proceedings:

(a) any petition for divorce

(3) Parties are to note that the documents which are to be filed pursuant to rule 567(1) of the Family Justice Rules may, instead of being filed through the Electronic Filing Service, be filed in accordance with the procedure outlined in Paragraph 90(3)-(7).

(4) In respect of appeals under Part 18 Division 59 of the Family Justice Rules, it shall not be necessary to file, deliver or convey any document at the Family Division of the High Court using the Electronic Filing Service if its filing, service, delivery or conveyance is not required under Part 18 Division 59 of the Family Justice Rules.

(5) Where documents are served using the Electronic Filing Service, a Certificate of Service will be automatically generated and stored in the electronic case file.

(6) Bundles of authorities can be filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed using the Electronic Filing Service. A party may also choose not to file bundles of authorities and may instead use hardcopies for hearings in accordance with the Directions contained in this Part.

145. Form of documents

(1) It is not necessary for documents that are electronically filed in Court to have a cover page or backing sheet.

(2) Parties are reminded that they must, at all times, ensure that the information stored in the front end system is up-to-date and free from errors as the same information will be reproduced in electronic forms that are generated by the Electronic Filing Service.

(3) Documents generated by the Electronic Filing Service containing out-of-date or wrong information will be rejected by the Registry and the fee payable shall be that stipulated in Part 19 of the Family Justice Rules.

(4) In the event that the Electronic Filing Service fails to automatically generate an information page, parties may undertake the procedure outlined in Paragraph 151(2) of these Practice Directions.

(5) If a document generated by the Electronic Filing Service is in respect of an Originating Summons or Petition for Probate or Letters of Administration where the parties are described as “Petitioner” and “Respondent”, parties should first write to the Family Registry by way of a Request through the Electronic Filing Service to request the convening of a Case Conference in respect of the matter. At the PTC, appropriate directions will be given to change the references to “Petitioner” and “Respondent” in the case title to “Plaintiff” and “Defendant” or such other party description as appropriate.

146. Pagination of documents

Every single page of a document must be paginated so that the pagination on the actual document corresponds with the pagination of the document in the electronic case file. This is to facilitate hearings involving documents.

147. Filing documents through service bureau

(1) Solicitors and law firms are encouraged to file documents through the Electronic Filing Service. However, in the event that certain documents cannot be filed through the Electronic Filing Service, solicitors and law firms may file documents through the service bureau. Litigants in person may also file documents through the service bureau.

(2) The operating hours of the service bureau may be found on the Electronic Filing Service website at http://www.elitigation.sg.

(3) [Deleted]

(4) Any document which is accepted for filing outside the time periods specified on the Electronic Filing Service website at http://www.elitigation.sg will be treated by the service bureau as having been accepted on the following working day.

(5) Documents to be filed through the service bureau must comply with these Practice Directions and all applicable administrative instructions and procedures prescribed by the service bureau with the approval of the superintendent.

(6) Documents filed through the service bureau shall be subject to a Manual Handling Fee as set out in the Electronic Filing Service website at http://www.elitigation.sg and additional services made available by the service bureau may be subject to other administrative charges imposed by the service bureau with the approval of the superintendent.

148. Filing of documents to the Family Justice Courts through a Supreme Court service bureau

Pursuant to rule 929(4) of the Family Justice Rules, the Registrar hereby prescribes that any service bureau established or authorised to be established by the Registrar of the Supreme Court may assist in the filing, service, delivery or conveyance of documents pertaining to:-

(a) proceedings in the Family Division of the High Court, and

(b) Family Courts using the Electronic Filing Service if the service bureau, or, if there are more than one, all the service bureaux, established or authorised to be established by the Registrar are unable to provide such services owing to failure of hardware or software, or both.

149. Limits on the size and number of documents submitted using the Electronic Filing Service

(1) The following limits apply to the filing of documents using the Electronic Filing Service:

(a) the total number of documents in a single submission must not exceed 99; and

(b) the size of a single submission must not exceed 500 mega-bytes.

(2) The limits described above apply to filing both online through the Electronic Filing Service and the service bureau.

(3) The resolution for scanning, unless otherwise directed by the Court, must be no more than 300 DPI.

(4) In the event that any solicitor wishes to file documents which exceed the limits specified in sub-paragraph (1), he should inform the Registrar at least 14 days before the intended filing date. The solicitor will then be asked to attend before the Registrar for directions to be given on how the documents should be filed.

(5) If any document should exceed 300 pages, then that document shall be sub-divided, at a convenient page, into parts, for example, Affidavit of Tan Ah Kow Part A, Affidavit of Tan Ah Kow Part B and so on.

150. Documents which cannot be converted into an electronic format

(1) If a document cannot be converted in whole or in part into an electronic format for any reason, the hardcopy of the document must be filed at the Family Registry of the Family Justice Courts.

(2) If the Court receives a document which the filing party says cannot be converted in whole or part into an electronic format, and it can discern no good reason why the document cannot be wholly converted into an electronic format, the document may be rejected.

151. Rejection of documents, back-dating and refund of penalty

(1) Care must be taken to enter correct, complete and accurate information into the electronic form. If the information entered into the electronic form and the actual document differ, the document is likely to be rejected by the Court. If a document is rejected by the Court for any reason, a penalty may nonetheless be payable in respect of the document as specified in Part 19 of the Family Justice Rules. In this regard, solicitors’ attention is also drawn to rule 928 of the Family Justice Rules.

(2) In the event however that any document is rejected through no fault of the filing party, a solicitor may —

(a) re-file the document with a request that the date and time of filing or issuance, as the case may be, be back-dated to an earlier date and time, pursuant to rule 922 of the Family Justice Rules; and

(b) request a refund of the penalty by filing the requisite electronic form through the Electronic Filing Service.

(3) Where leave of Court has been obtained to expunge parts of a document or affidavit from the Court record, an applicant or his solicitor must re-file the document or affidavit with the expunged parts redacted and with a request that the date and time of filing or issuance, as the case may be, be back-dated to an earlier date and time, pursuant to rule 922 of the Family Justice Rules.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, a filing fee will be payable in respect of the re-filed document or affidavit as specified in Part 19 of the Family Justice Rules and the filing fee paid on the earlier filing of that document or affidavit will not be refunded.

152. Hard copies of documents filed electronically

(1) The Registrar may, at his discretion, request for hard copies of any documents filed electronically.

(2) Upon such request, the filing party or his solicitor shall furnish hard copies of the relevant documents at the venue specified by the Registrar —

(a) within the specified time frame; or

(b) within 24 hours of the request, if no time frame is specified.

(3) The Registrar may also direct that any or all documents shall be filed in hardcopy instead of using the Electronic Filing Service for such period or periods as he in his discretion thinks fit.

153. Responsibility for accuracy and completeness of information submitted using the Electronic Filing Service

(1) The solicitor having the conduct of any cause or matter may delegate the task of filing originating processes and documents in Court to an assistant or a suitably experienced law clerk or secretary, provided always that the solicitor shall personally satisfy himself as to the accuracy and completeness of the information submitted to the Court, and shall personally bear responsibility for any errors or deficiencies.

(2) In particular, solicitors should ensure the following:

(a) that the title of the action generated using the Electronic Filing Service is accurate and correct;

(b) where an action is commenced by way of a writ of summons, that at least one nature of claim is selected that adequately represents the subject matter of the action; and

(c) where an action is commenced by way of an originating summons, that either the relevant legislation under which the action is brought is provided or at least one nature of claim is selected that adequately represents the subject matter of the action.

Consolidated, transferred or converted cases in civil proceedings

(3) Where leave of Court has been obtained to consolidate cases or transfer a case from the Supreme Court to the Family Justice Courts or an order is made in a matter commenced by originating summons to continue as if commenced by writ, the applicant or his solicitor must inform the Registry of the order for consolidation or transfer or conversion by way of an appropriate Request through the Electronic Filing Service.

154. Amendment of documents originally filed in Court by entering relevant information in an electronic template

(1) This Paragraph applies to documents that have originally been filed in Court via the Electronic Filing Service.

(2) Where such a document is to be amended, whether pursuant to rule 60 of the Family Justice Rules or, with leave of court, the amended document is to be prepared and filed by entering the relevant amendments in the appropriate electronic template. The amended document need not be filed in PDF format. In this respect, Paragraph 95(2)(c), (4) and (5) of these Practice Directions shall not apply.

155. Filing directions to the Accountant-General for payment into and out of Court

(1) Where monies are sought to be paid into Court pursuant to a judgment or order of the Court, a copy of the judgment or order must be referenced in the draft direction to the Accountant-General for payment in submitted to the Registry for approval.

(2) Where monies are sought to be paid out of Court pursuant to a judgment or order of the Court, pursuant to the acceptance of a payment into Court made under Part 18 Division 16 of the Family Justice Rules, a copy of the judgment or order, or of the notice in Form 92 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions, or of the written consent, must be attached to the draft direction to the Accountant-General for payment out submitted to the Registry for approval.

(3) Every draft direction for payment into or payment out of Court shall contain amounts in a single currency.

(4) Where monies in different currencies are to be paid into or out of Court, separate draft directions must be prepared for each currency in which payment is to be made.

156. Electronic payment of Court fees

(1) Court fees not paid using the Electronic Filing Service may be paid by electronic means.

(2) Payment through electronic means includes payment effected by Interbank GIRO (IBG) and NETS. For law firms, payment by IBG would be the most appropriate mode of electronic payment. A law firm using IBG will authorise the Family Justice Court to deduct the fees from its bank account upon lodgement of the prescribed lodgement form. The law firm will receive detailed reports on its IBG payments to facilitate accounting and help with bank reconciliation.

157. Stamping of documents

(1) Only documents filed in the Family Justice Courts will be stamped at the Family Justice Courts’ stamp office. The amount of stamp fees payable must be indicated on the top right hand corner of the document. In addition, solicitor’s clerks or solicitors must complete and submit the requisition form set out in Form 258 of Appendix A, together with the relevant document(s) to the cashier for stamping.

(2) Payment should be made with Cash, NETS, local Cashier’s Order and Bank Draft (in Singapore currency). Cashier’s Orders and Bank Drafts should be crossed and made payable to:

“Registrar, Supreme Court/AG”

(3) The stamp office shall be opened during the following hours:

(a) Monday to Friday - 9.00 am to 1.00 p.m., and 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.

(b) Saturday - 9.00 am to 12.00 p.m.

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