Confusion over court hearing locations

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Oamaru is about to get a new temporary court, but in the meantime there is still some confusion about whether to go to the Oamaru Opera House or Work and Income.

This comes after a distressed Oamaru resident went to the wrong place last month.

Georgette Pile told the Oamaru Mail she was supposed to attend a hearing with her husband last month to pay a fine.

She assumed the hearing would take place at the Oamaru Opera House, but it was being held in the Work and Income building. When Mrs Pile and her husband failed to turn up to the hearing, a warrant for their arrest was put out, she said.

Had they known where they were supposed to go, none of this would have happened, she said.

“It was a dreadful, dreadful time.”

They ended up finding the right place and paying their fines, Mrs Pile said.

A spokesperson for Courts Minister Chester Burrows said all family and criminal disputes would continue to be held in the Oamaru Opera House until the temporary court was up and running.

They would continue to operate the court counter at the Work and Income office on selected days.

Documents that needed to be filed could be posted or handed in at the counter of the Timaru District Court.

Fines could be paid online at fines.govt.nz, over the phone at 0800 434 637, by internet banking or at any Post Shop or Westpac Bank.

Call 0800 COURTS for more information or details about the next counter day.

By RUBY HARFIELD