Firstly, I would like to re phrase my qu...

Asked by dorothy on 10-09-2020 09:43:23
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng

Firstly, I would like to re-phrase my question thus.

The background is that my son is involved in a civil case in S.A. since 2018 regarding dispute in division of profits from sale of house. He has been living in Amsterdam, Holland for past 2 years. Opposing counsel here last week just obtained a date for Pre-Trial in Johannesburg for 17 September without discussing mutually convenient date and whether he can even travel during Covid-19 travel ban or even have funds to fly to S.A. if there was no ban. He tried to have an affidavit attested by S.A. Embassy in the Hague to cover the fact he cannot attend on 17 Sept. They could only give appointment for 22 Sept. He sent an email to me to take to Registrar of Court in Roodepoort, who just stamped it. Is that sufficient? My son does not want to be disadvantaged in his case.  Also, as he now lives overseas how does he change his address of service as he does not know anyone within 15 kms of Magistrate Court. He cannot afford a lawyer; he has been his own legal representative since day one. What will happen if he gives my address for service, but I don’t live within 15 km of Roodepoort Magistrate Court, I live in Krugersdorp. If he gives my address will the case move  to Krugersdorp court? What must someone do if they don’t live in the country anymore? Can my son force them to serve him notices in Amsterdam? As he is his own defence, how can he word a letter to the Court advising that he must attend the Pre-trial and Trial himself and cannot just hop on a plane when opposing counsel just applies for Set Down dates. Also, they want to serve on him via email and he is reluctant as he feels they can then just send him notices willy nilly.  Thank you and sorry for the length of this query.

Further information relating to Question:

The Notice to Set Down for the Pre-trial Conference was dated 4 September and the date of Pre-trial is 17 September. Again, if my son changes his address of service to mine in Krugersdorp, will the case have to be moved over to the Krugersdorp Magistrate Court? Please also advise how to word a letter to the Court stating he must attend all necessary court appearances as he is his own legal representative?

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 10-09-2020 14:12:55

Hi there,

I see that you haven't made a payment for the question, but I'm going to assist you a little. If you want to ask a follow-up question, please make the required payment.

-- Opposing counsel here last week just obtained a date for Pre-Trial in Johannesburg for 17 September without discussing mutually convenient date and whether he can even travel during Covid-19 travel ban or even have funds to fly to S.A. if there was no ban. -- A date is actually provided by the court. Once the date is provided, you are required to attend the pre-trial.

-- He tried to have an affidavit attested by S.A. Embassy in the Hague to cover the fact he cannot attend on 17 Sept. They could only give appointment for 22 Sept. He sent an email to me to take to Registrar of Court in Roodepoort, who just stamped it. Is that sufficient? -- No. He needs to attend the pre-trial conference. Or he must get a legal representative to attend on his behalf.

-- Also, as he now lives overseas how does he change his address of service as he does not know anyone within 15 kms of Magistrate Court. He cannot afford a lawyer; he has been his own legal representative since day one. -- He NEEDS to have a service address within 15 km of the court. It could be a law firm, or another other firm, or even a PostNet office, or such like.

-- What will happen if he gives my address for service, but I don’t live within 15 km of Roodepoort Magistrate Court, I live in Krugersdorp. -- It won't be accepted.

-- If he gives my address will the case move to Krugersdorp court? -- No.

-- What must someone do if they don’t live in the country anymore? -- They must hire a lawyer to represent them, or come back to SA to attend court, or face a judgment being granted against them in default.

-- Can my son force them to serve him notices in Amsterdam? -- Nope.

-- As he is his own defence, how can he word a letter to the Court advising that he must attend the Pre-trial and Trial himself and cannot just hop on a plane when opposing counsel just applies for Set Down dates. -- He can't.

-- Also, they want to serve on him via email and he is reluctant as he feels they can then just send him notices willy nilly. -- He should agree to receive notices via email. We do that. It works nicely. Part of the agreement should be that you HAVE to reply to confirm receipt.

Att. Patrick

Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow-up questions please make the required payment, then use the REPLY button and ask your further question. I would like to continue assisting you, but I need to concentrate on people who make payments for their questions.

If you would like to view the entire answer, you will need to either login or register a FREE account.

Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: Advice or answers from Lawyers on SA Legal Advice are not substitutes for the proper advice of an Lawyer. SA Legal Advice is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Lawyer who assists with your question is not your Lawyer, and the response above is not to be considered to be legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from individual Lawyers, not SA Legal Advice. The site and services are provided “as is”. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.