Obtaining court dates from the High Courts in Lockdown Level 1
As much as we, as legal practitioners, have got used to attending to court virtually and working with the new online court system, called CaseLines; the legal profession is still experiencing extreme difficulties. The latest court directives allow us to issue new proceedings at court but obtaining court dates can only be done through the CaseLines system. This system is connected to the domain judiciary.org.za, unfortunately this domain and the court servers are not functioning at the moment. The effect of this is that we are currently unable to obtain court dates at all from the majority of the High Courts and when we do obtain court dates, even unopposed dates for instance in North Gauteng High Court, being the High Court in Pretoria, we are obtaining dates as late as May 2021.
As much as this is frustrating to our clients and ourselves, unfortunately there is nothing that can be done but pleading with the Judge President to address these issues as soon as possible in order to allow us to obtain court dates to finalise eviction application and other matters.
It is important to be aware off this current problem in our courts because we do have the benefit at this stage of the Lockdown Level 1 Regulations imploring landlords and tenants to find middle ground and ways of settling the disputes between them. This does allow parties to settle and then make such settlement agreements orders of court. We do recommend this at this point, we do however recommend that you involve your attorney in this process to record the settlement agreement in a written form which can be made an order of court.
We are doing our utmost best to find solutions for our clients but unfortunately, we are reliant on the court directives and systems to finalise proceedings. We will keep you updated on the progress in this regard.