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When to attend court

If another party has filed objections to your application or there are issues with your application, the court may inform you to attend a case conference or hearing.

Note: The number of court sessions needed will depend on your case. These sessions fall on weekdays, which means that parties may need to take leave from work to attend.

Attendance is compulsory

If you need to attend court, the Family Courts will inform you of the date, time and venue of your court session through post or eLitigation.

You or your lawyer (if any) must be present. If neither you nor your lawyer attends, your application may be struck out.

If you wish to change the court date, you have to file a Request for Re-Fixing/Vacation of Hearing Dates via eLitigation at least 3 days before the scheduled hearing date.

If the court grants your request, a new date will be arranged. Otherwise, you are required to attend the court session as scheduled.

Arriving in court


Some court sessions may be conducted virtually. The court will inform you if you do not need to attend court in person. Find out more about virtual court sessions.

If you are asked to attend court physically, you should:

  • Arrive early and find your way to the venue.
  • Confirm your case is heard in the venue you are about to enter. Inform the court officer before entering, if applicable.
  • Dress neatly and decently when attending court.
  • Speak and conduct yourself in a courteous manner.
  • Bring the required documents that you submitted to the court.

At your court session

During the case conference or hearing, the judge may do any of the following:

  • (If there are issues with your application) Ask you questions to sort out any issues with your application. The court may ask you to amend your submissions or file further documents.
  • (If another party objects to the application) Hear from both parties before deciding whether to approve the application.
  • Adjourn the case for a subsequent case conference or hearing.

Possible outcomes

If the court approves your application: extract the order

If there are no issues with your application, the court will issue the deputyship order.

After the court has granted the order, you need to request an official copy of it through eLitigation. This is known as extracting the order. If you are not represented by a lawyer, you will need to visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to extract the order.

You will be appointed as P's deputy. As a deputy, you will be regulated by the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Office of Public Guardian (OPG). You must submit annual reports to the OPG to explain all the decisions you made for P and how you had used P's monies for their benefit.

Please refer to The Mental Capacity Act: A Deputy's Guide published by the Office of the Public Guardian for more information on the duties and responsibilities of a deputy.

If the court has clarifications on your application

If the court has further questions regarding your application, you may be asked to amend your submissions or file further documents. The court may also ask you to attend another court session. The court may inform you of the next court date during the court session, or at a later date through post or eLitigation.

If the court dismisses your application

You will not be appointed as P's deputy and cannot make decisions on their behalf.

After the court makes a decision

If you are not satisfied: appeal

If you are not satisfied with the court's decision, you may appeal to the Family Division of the High Court by filing a Notice of Appeal.

You need to file and serve the notice within 14 days after the date the order was made.

You must also provide security for the other party’s costs of the appeal. This will cost $3,000. Find out more about appeals.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more


Refer to the deputyship brochure: 

Legislation associated with this topic includes:

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