Hearing dates for opposed motions

hearing dates for opposed motions
September 7, 2020 mollerpienaar 0 Comments

From time to time, the directive of the Gauteng Division of the High Court on obtaining hearing dates for opposed motions changes.  One is never sure which directive applies and if one has the most current one.

Since we published this post, the directive on hearing dates for opposed motions has changed.  Amended Practice Directive 18 September 2020 (Consolidated) now applies.

Practice Directive 18 September 2020 (Consolidated)

What is of note in this directive on the hearing dates for opposed motions are:

  1. where there is a conflict between the timeframes for submission of notices and roll closure between the Practice Manual and this directive, the 18 September 2020 Consolidated directive will prevail;
  2. attorneys must now create the cases on CaseLines;
  3. a Directive Compliance Declaration is required for every enrolment;
  4. the prescribed application form is amended;
  5. each law firm is limited to enrolling only 5 (five) matters per week;
  6. parties must upload all documents to CaseLines no later than 12 court days before the hearing date;
  7. the presiding judge must inform the parties no later than five calendar days before the hearing that he/she presides over the matter and issue direction on the further processes to follow;
  8. the parties must file a practice note on the proposed hearing procedure;
  9. the parties must convene a pre-hearing conference and prepare a joint practice note to discuss/agree on prescribed issues; and
  10. the parties must upload an index, cross-referenced with the CaseLines page numbers to CaseLines

Practice Directive 18 September 2020 (Consolidated) does not nullify the Practice Directive in totality.  The Practice Manual still applies, but as amended by the aforesaid directive.  For the Gauteng Division, Pretoria, it now reads:

Chapter 13.9 Enrolment of Opposed Motions

2.  OPPOSED MOTIONS

2.1 

With effect from 27 January, 2020, the Practice Manual of the Gauteng Division, Pretoria … dealing with enrolment of Opposed Motions shall be amended as follows:

2.1.1 

A party to an opposed motion may apply to the Registrar to allocate a date for the hearing of that application in terms of rule 6(5)(f) of the Uniform Rules of Court only if:

–  The papers have been properly secured, indexed and paginated provided that this shall not be necessary if the matter has been created and is handled through the Caselines Digital Litigation Platform; and

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

– The heads of argument accompanied by a practice note from each party have been delivered and/or digitally uploaded on the Caselines Digital Litigation Platform.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.2 

The procedure to enrol an opposed application commences when a consolidated index is delivered and/or uploaded on the Caselines Digital Litigation platform.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.3

The applicant shall deliver a consolidated index within five(5) days from teh service of the applicant’s replying affidavit or last affidavit that can permissibley be filed and or uploaded on the Caselines Digital Litigiation Platform.

(Amendment to the practice manual fot eh gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.4

Should the applicant not timeously deliver and/or upload the consolidated index, the respondent may do so.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.5

The consolidated index must prominently indicate on the front page the date when and in what manner it was served on the opposing party.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.6

The applicant shall deliver and/or upload heads of argument and a practice note within 10 day from the date of service and/or upload of the consolidated index.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.7

The respondent shall deliver and/or upload heads of argument and a practice note within 10 days from teh date of receipt of the applicant’s heads of argument.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.8

If the applicant fails to deliver and/or upload the heads of argument and practice note within the prescribed period, the respondent shall deliver and/or upload its heads of argument and practice note, within 10 days of the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph 6 above.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.9

When a party fails to deliver and/or upload heads of argument on the prescribed date, the complying party may apply to the registrar for a provisional enrolment date and simultaneously such party shall initiate the application referred to in paragraph 4.1.12 below.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.10

The heads of argument and practice notes may be served in accordance with Rule 4A of the Uniform Rules but uploading on the Caselines system shall be regarded as compliance with the Rule.  This directive applies to the service and filing of any pleading and/or notice contemplated in this directive

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.11

Where a party fails to deliver and/or upload heads of argument and/or a practice note within the stipulated period the complying party may provisionally enrol the application for hearing.  Such party shall, upon provisional enrolment, simultaneously initiate and/or upload an interlocutory application on notice to the defaulting party that on the date set out therein, (which shall be at least 5 days from such notice), he or she will apply for an order than the defaulting party delivers and/or uploads his/her heads of argument and practice note within 3 days of such order, failing which the defaulting party’s claim or defence will be struck out.  Such application shall be enrolled in line with the provisions set out in practice directive 2 of 2019 dealing with interlocutory applications.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.12

No opposed motion will be enrolled on the final roll without the requisite heads of argument being filed and/or uploaded.  For all opposed motions to be enrolled, the enrolling party shall send a suitably worded email requesting the creation of cases, where necessary, on Caselines and enrolment of the matter to JHBOEnrolment@judiciary.rog.za for Johannesburg cases and PTAOEnrolment@judiciary.org.za for Pretoria cases.  Upon receipt the registrar will supply teh next available date(s) with the party will have to confirm with the Registrar within one day, failing which, the matter will not be finally enrolled.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.13

Additional and supplementary heads of argument may only be filed and/or uploaded by a party with the leave of the Court.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.14

When preparing heads of argument practitioners are reminded of the dicta in Caterham Car Sales & Coachworks Limited v Birkin Cars (Pty)Ltd and Another 1998(3) SA 938 (SCA) at 955 B-G and Ensign-Bickford (SA) (Pty) Ltd and Others v AECI Explosives & Chemicals LTD 1999(1) SA 70 (SCA) 84H -85B

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.15

The heads of argument shall include a list of the authorities to be quoted in support of the argument.  The parties do NOT need to provide copies of authorities or any statutory enactment relied with the heads of argument, unless requested by the presiding Judge.  However, if counsel is to refer to an authority, or statutory enactment or part thereof, copies must be made available to the court and the opposing party at the hearing provided that this may be uploaded on the CaseLines system under the appropriate section.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.16

The heads of argument of the application shall be accompanied by a chronology table, duly cross-referenced, without argument, but including a succinct description of the events/facts. If the respondent disputes the correctness of the chronology table in a material respect, the respondent’s heads of argument shall be accompanied by the respondent’s version of the chronology table.  The chronology must include dated relevant to the material facts of the dispute, as well as the dates on which documents were filed/served.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.17

Regarding matter that are not on the Caselines Digital Litigation platform, the registrar will make available a secure location (the location) under the supervision of a person. (the supervisor) where a register of matters enrolled on the opposed motion roll will be kept. For matters initiated on the Caselines Digital Litigation system, the registrar shall create a portal containing the opposed motion rolls which shall specify the details of all matters enrolled for each opposed motion week.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.18

No more than sixty (60) applications may be enrolled for any court week.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.19

Once a matter is enrolled:

2.19.1

No party may, without the leave of the court, file any further documents other than a notice of removal, a notice of withdrawal, a notice of postponement or an official document or report

2.19.2

Where an application is required to be brought in terms of ss 4 and 5 of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (PIE) the Registrar shall afford access to the court file, for matters not on the Caselines system, and permit the filing of documents.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.20

It shall be the responsibility o the Registrar to prepare a court roll from the register and/or portal for the opposed motions for each week.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.21

Where an opposed application is to be set down for hearing during the first or second week of any term the parties shall comply with the requirements set out in paragraph 2.1.1 to 2.17 and 2.19 by not later than the first day of the last week of the preceding term.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.22

In all opposed applications that are to be heard during the first and second weeks of any term the Registrar shall invite the senior Judge or Judges concerned and their Secretaries to the case, for allocation on the first day of the last week of the preceding term.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.23

Save for application that are of an urgent nature, no opposed applications must be set down for hearing during the last week of term.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

2.24

If an application is not to proceed on the date allocated, the parties must immediately notify the Registrar via the relevant email.

(Amendment to the practice manual of the Gauteng division of the high court Pretoria and Johannesburg 10 January 2020 with effect from 27 January 2020)

 

 

JUDGE PRESIDENT'S CONSOLIDATED DIRECTIVE

11 May 2020 Consolidated directive

This text is an extract of the consolidated directive to the extend that it applies to the obtaining of hearing dates for opposed motions.

22.

All opposed motions (including teh transferred opposed motions) on the roll from 20 April 2020 onwards shall remain enrolled, notwithstanding the Lockdown or extension thereof, and any social distancing regulations that may be imposed thereafter.

23. Only matters that have been uploaded on CaseLines shall be heard.  All non-compliant matters shall be removed form the roll, except where a satisfactory explanation is proffered as to why that was not possible.  The Judge shall exercise a discretion as to the use of another method of presentation of the papers, whether by email or in physical form.

23.2

and in Pretoria its PTAOenrolment@judiciary.org.za

24.

The Judge to whom a matter is allocated shall, not later than five Court days before the week in which the matter is set down, notify the Parties that he or she is seized with the matter and all further communication about the matter shall be directly, by email only to the email address stipulated by that Judge.

25.

All opposed motions set down during the term shall be disposed as follows:

25.1

If both parties agree, an opposed motion may be removed from the roll.  There shall be no costs order for removal of a matter.

25.2

The Parties shall endeavour to agree about whether the matter may be disposed of without oral argument: if agreed.  Counsel for any Party who wishes to supplement the papers with additional written submissions must do so in a practice note sent by email to the email address designated by the Jude or to the Judge’s Secretary, by not later than the Friday before the week in which the matter is set down

25.3

If no argument is reached about forgoing oral argument, that must be communicated to the Judge in a practice note sent by email, not later than noon on the Friday before the week in which the matter is set down, and a hearing shall take place as directed by the Judge seized with the matter, which may include one or more of the following options;

25.3.1

A hearing using video conferencing techniques may be convened; where this option is chosen, the Applicant shall, unless the allocated Judge directs otherwise, undertake to organise the setting up of a video conference as host, and shall send a link to all Parties and Judges involved at a time and date stipulated by the allocated Judge.

25.3.2

Any other procedure or technique that may afford an elimination or limitation of the risk of physical proximity among the people involved.

25.4

In any oppose motion in which more than two parties are before the Court and the matter is either complex or involves several issues of either a procedural or substantive nature, Counsel for the several parties must hold a pre-hearing conference and prepare a coherent agenda to present to the Judge seized of the matter addressing the efficient conduct of the hearing.

25.4.1

The Agenda should be transmitted in advance of the date of hearing, preferably at least 5 days, in a Joint practice note, to facilitate, where necessary a pre-hearing conference with the Judge.

25.4.2

The Judge shall not be bound by such agenda and may exercise a discretion to vary it.

26.

Any queries by any Party must be made by email only and addressed to the Presiding Judge via the Judge’s Secretary and copies sent to the other Parties.

27.

In those cases where a Party appears in person:

27.1

that litigant shall approach the designated official at the Court building who shall render assistance to the litigant through the use of the virtual Courtroom.  A notice to this effect shall be posted in the foyer of the Court.

27.2

or, where such a litigant’s contact details are unknown, the Secretary of the Judge shall endeavour to make contact to communicate the relevant information.  Where such litigant has personal access to teleconferencing facilities a link may be set up accordingly, if the Judge so directs.

28.

The Applicant remains dominus litis and is ultimately responsible for the efficient disposal of the application.  Where the Applicant is unrepresented, the Respondent shall assume the responsibility.

29.

The Order and the Judgment shall be communicated to the Parties by email by the allocated Judge and uploaded on to the CaseLines file of the respective matter.

 

 

 

Please remember we do not give legal advice on our blog.  Every case is different.  The information contained on our website is for general purposes only.  We do not accept any responsibility for any loss or damages, direct or consequential, that may result because you relied on anything contained on these pages. 

It is your responsibility to verify that you use the most recent directive before your enroll your matter.

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