sg-crest A Singapore Government Agency Website
Official website links end with
Secure websites use HTTPS
Look for a lock () or https:// as an added precaution. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Registrar's Circular No. 2 2020

In view of the press release issued on 3 April 2020 by the Ministry of Health on “Circuit Breaker to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19”, every matter(1) scheduled for hearing in the Family Justice Courts (“FJC”) from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 (the “Relevant Period”) will be adjourned to a date to be fixed, unless the matter is assessed to be essential and urgent. The matters which may be considered to be essential and urgent are set out in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1.

2 The Registry will inform parties by 6 April 2020, 5pm if their matters scheduled from 7 April 2020 to 9 April 2020 will be adjourned. For matters scheduled on or after 13 April 2020 to the last day of the Relevant Period (inclusive), parties will be notified as soon as possible and in any event, no later than three working days from the scheduled hearing date if the hearing will be adjourned. For the avoidance of doubt, the Court may continue to deliver judgments during the Relevant Period.

3 Any hearing conducted during the Relevant Period will be conducted through electronic means of communication, unless otherwise directed by the Court. Parties are to comply with all safe distancing and other applicable measures in the preparation, presentation and conduct of hearings during the Relevant Period.

4 Attendance before the Duty Judicial Officer in relation to matters falling within paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 will be by video conferencing. The directions in paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 of Registrar’s Circular No 1 of 2020 which apply to counsel shall apply to litigants-in-person (“LIPs”) as well. Any request for the urgent hearing of any matter which does not fall within paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 must be accompanied by reasons explaining why the matter is essential and urgent. In making such a request, parties should note the following:

  • In determining whether a matter is essential and urgent, the Court will have regard to, among other things, whether the determination of the outcome of the matter is time sensitive, and whether there is any legal requirement for the matter to be heard within any timeframe;
  • A matter is not essential and urgent merely because it is convenient for the parties to have the matter heard early or as scheduled; and
  • Parties should not make the request if the preparation, presentation and conduct of the hearing will entail parties breaching safe distancing measures (e.g. if lawyers will have to come into close physical proximity with one another, their staff or clients). Parties will be required to satisfy the Court that measures are in place to avoid this.

The Court may, in its discretion, grant a request for urgent hearing if the matter is assessed by the Court to be essential and urgent.

5 Parties may also email the FJC Registry at for maintenance matters and for all other matters on any urgent query with the email subject stating the relevant details such as, “[Urgent Query][Case Number][Case Name]”, as may be applicable.

6 With effect from 7 April 2020 until further notice, where a hearing is conducted by means of video conferencing or telephone conferencing using a remote communication technology approved by the Chief Justice or authorised by the Court, all recordings made of the hearing which have been authorised by the Court using such remote communication technology will constitute the official record of hearing for the purposes of Rule 611 of the Family Justice Rules.

7 The FJC Registry counters and other administrative court services will continue to operate during the Relevant Period to provide court services for essential and urgent matters as set out in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1. During the Relevant Period, counter services in relation to the filing of Magistrate’s Complaints will remain available, while verification of documents such as original wills will be suspended. All other counter services will be available by remote means. Parties may email for enquiries. Parties and their representatives should not visit the Court premises during the Relevant Period to tender documents in hard copy or in any media storage devices, including CD-ROMs. Any requirement to tender to the Court any hard copies of documents pursuant to the Family Justice Rules, the FJC Practice Directions or the Court’s directions shall, if the documents are tendered during the Relevant Period, be complied with by electronically filing or submitting the soft copies within the applicable timelines. The Court may still issue directions for hard copies of the aforesaid to be tendered after the Relevant Period. For the avoidance of doubt, parties may continue to file documents electronically through the eLitigation system and send by AR registered post soft copy documents contained in CD-ROMs (as may be applicable) to the Court during the Relevant Period.

8 For family violence and maintenance matters under Part VII and Part VIII of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353, 2009 Rev Ed), applicants are strongly encouraged to reserve an appointment slot using iFAMS before attending in person at the FJC to file their complaint. Where affidavit or documentary evidence needs to be tendered, it shall be deposited in a physical drop box at the entrance of FJC’s premises at 3 Havelock Square, in lieu of tendering to the Court in person

9 In relation to timelines for compliance under the Family Justice Rules or the FJC Practice Directions or pursuant to the Court’s directions, the following shall apply:

  • Where matters scheduled for hearing during the Relevant Period are adjourned, parties may write in to the Court to request an extension of time; and
  • For all other matters, the applicable timelines will continue to apply but parties may write in to the Court to request an extension of time, if necessary.

10 All matters scheduled for hearing after the Relevant Period will continue as scheduled, unless otherwise directed by the Court. We will continue to monitor the situation. All court users and visitors are advised to refer to the FJC website at for the latest information and updates.

Dated this 5th day of April 2020.


(1) This includes appeals, trials, applications (interlocutory or otherwise), case management conferences, pre-trial conferences and mediations.

Download circular

Registrar's Circular No. 2 2020


Share this page: