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Federal Magistrates Service in Western Sydney delivers results.

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8 January 2001


More than 1000 Western Sydney couples have been able to alleviate some of the stress of their marriage breakup by having their divorces dealt with quickly, simply and cheaply by the Federal Magistrates Service.

Since the Service was established six months ago, more than 2400 family law applications have been filed with the Service in Parramatta. This includes more than 1800 applications for divorce, of which more than 1000 have been granted. In addition, over 200 matters have been transferred from the Family Court to the Federal Magistrates Service. The Federal Magistrates Service in Parramatta has one of the highest numbers of applications filed in family law matters of all the locations of the Service.

The Federal Magistrates Service operates in every capital city in Australia and some regional cities. It began hearing cases in July last year. Federal Magistrates Judith Ryan and Stephen Scarlett have been working in the Parramatta registry since June last year. The Federal Magistrates Service is the first ever lower level court in the Commonwealth sector. It has been established to deal with a range of less complex federal disputes that were dealt with previously by the Federal Court or Family Court.

The cooperation and support of the Federal Court and the Family Court has been fundamental in ensuring the success of the Federal Magistrates Service

After only six months, the Federal Magistrates Service has taken its

place as a cornerstone of the Commonwealth legal system. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each of the federal magistrates for their work in helping to make the system cheaper, simpler and faster for litigants to negotiate.

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