Changes to access to Justices of the Peace

PHYSICAL distancing requirements for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 mean that a number of the Derwent Valley’s Justices of the Peace – and many others throughout the state – are no longer undertaking their duties.

With many JPs being older members of the community, and working from home, the Department of Justice says it supports the decision of any Justice deciding not to perform their role at present.

“The Department of Justice supports the decision of any Justice to take this course of action, given that a number of Justices are older members of the community and may be susceptible to an increased risk of contracting the virus,” a spokesman said. “Justices have limited premises from which they can provide services and in those circumstances, it is not considered appropriate for members of the public to visit Justices at their residences.”

A list on the Department of Justice website shows which JPs are continuing to provide services. Click here for the latest update to the list.

BUSHY PARK: Glenn Gittus
ELLENDALE: Micky Quinn and Dawn Tomlin
GRANTON: Shaun Dobson, Tomas Clarke
GRETNA: Iris Fenton
MOLESWORTH: Ngaire Glover
GRANTON: Shaun Patrick Dobson
NEW NORFOLK: Terry Burdon, Colleen Cranefield, Barbara Davis, Debbie Hutchinson, Pat Graham

The document signing centres voluntarily staffed by JPs at the Glenorchy and Kingborough council offices and the Hobart and Rosny branches of Service Tasmania are temporarily closed.

Given the current restrictions on movement, the Department of Justice asks anyone needing a JP to first consider whether the matter is essential, and to consider waiting until the situation improves. “In the event that a Justice is urgently required, it is recommended that you phone Justices in your area to ask whether they are willing to deal with your matter.”

The Department also recommends checking to see whether a JP is in fact required, as many of the duties of a Justice can also be undertaken by a Commissioner for Declarations who can witness signatures to documents, certify a true copy of an original document, and take statutory declarations.

Commissioners for Declarations include:

  • accountants;
  • bank, building society or credit union officers with five or more continuous years of service;
  • medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, optometrists;
  • permanent Federal, State or Local Government employees with 5 or more continuous years of service;
  • police officers and legal practitioners;
  • full-time teachers.

Click here for more details about Commissioners for Declarations and here for the full list of people designated Commissioners for Declarations because of their profession or because of an appointment they hold.

Arrangements are being put in place to allow for electronic witnessing/certifying/taking of statutory declarations.

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