You can request for someone to attend court with you through the Community Courts and Tribunals (CCT) Friend Scheme if you have a case at any of these tribunals:
A CCT Friend can provide administrative or emotional support during court proceedings. Your CCT Friend can be a family member, friend or volunteer from a pro bono agency.
You need to find someone to be your CCT Friend on your own. The court will not be able to arrange for a CCT Friend for you.
If you do not have a family member or friend who can help, you may approach the Community Justice Centre or other pro bono agencies.
Any party involved in a tribunal case can apply for the court to approve a CCT Friend.
You should be one of these parties:
Before you apply for the CCT Friend Scheme, make sure you understand:
A CCT Friend can help you by:
A CCT Friend cannot:
A CCT Friend cannot be someone who:
Note: You can only have one CCT Friend at all times during the proceedings.
Your application will be subject to the approval of the tribunal in charge of your case.
You will need to provide the following information in the Application for CCT Friend (Form 99, State Courts Practice Directions):
Complete and print the Application for CCT Friend (Form 99, State Courts Practice Directions). Go to the State Courts Service Hub (State Courts, Level 2) during the operating hours to submit the form.
Log in to the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS). Under the Online Applications tab, select General Application. Submit the completed Application for CCT Friend (Form 99, State Courts Practice Directions) as a supporting document.
The tribunal in charge of your case will decide whether to approve your application at the next scheduled court session.
If your application is approved, your CCT Friend may proceed to assist you.
If your application is rejected, you will have to carry on with your case without the assistance of a CCT Friend. The court may refuse your application if it considers that it is not in the interests of justice and fairness for you to receive assistance from a CCT Friend.
If your application is rejected at a consultation (SCT), case management conference (ECT) or pre-trial conference (CDRT) and your case proceeds to a hearing, you may submit another application on the first day of the hearing. The decision by the court to approve or reject this application is final.
If you wish to change your CCT Friend at any stage of the proceedings, you will need to submit a new application for the court's approval.
During the court session, you may object to the other party's CCT Friend application if you have valid reasons on why they should not receive assistance from a CCT Friend.
The court may refuse a CCT Friend application if it considers that it is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the party to receive assistance from a CCT Friend.
The court may stop or restrict your CCT Friend from assisting you if they consider that:
Before stopping or restricting the participation of your CCT Friend, the court may first caution your CCT Friend to stop their offending behaviour.
If your CCT Friend does not comply with the court's instructions, they may be asked to leave the hearing chambers.