The Family Court has recently considered the issue of whether ex parte (without notice) applications can be granted under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (PPPR). Having examined the requirements of the Family Court Rules 2002 and the PPPR, Judge Burns determined that the Court does not have jurisdiction to hear ex parte applications for welfare guardian orders, personal orders or property orders under the PPPR.
The Judge noted that while there are grounds to dispense with service on the subject person for substantive orders (s63(2) of the PPPR), the legal representative for that person must be provided with a copy of the application (s108(a) of the PPPR). Further, while interim (personal and welfare) orders under Part 2, and temporary orders for the management of property under Part 3 of the PPPR, can be made without the subject person being served, these orders can only be made after a lawyer for the subject person is appointed (a mandatory requirement under s65 of the PPPR) and in a position to be heard: "[t]here is nothing in the Act which prevents an application being dealt with urgently and set down for hearing if necessary in a matter of hours to consider interim or temporary orders but I consider that the Act provides a protection for subject persons by ensuring the appointment of a lawyer. That lawyer's appointment can be dealt with on the basis of urgency". PT v MJD  NZFC 2706