A filing hearing is the first Court appearance of a matter that will be going through the committal process. The filing hearing is the first opportunity that your lawyer will have to talk to the Prosecutor and the Informant about your matter. It is often very useful to discuss the matter with the Informant at the filing hearing to get an idea of their view of the matter.
A prosecutor at the filing hearing may not be involved at any other stage and will generally not know anything much about the matter.
The Magistrate at the filing hearing will set a date for the hand-up brief to be served on your lawyers by the Informant – usually in 6 weeks time. If there are going to be issues about a delay then this is often when it is first raised as an issue.
If a person is in custody, the filing hearing is generally the first date that they will be remanded to Court and therefore a date that we might apply for bail.
The Magistrate will also set a date at the filing hearing for the committal mention, the next hearing in the process. This is usually 6 weeks after the due date of the hand-up brief.
You will normally be expected by the Magistrate to attend the Filing Hearing. The reason for this is that they want to know that you are dealing with your matter properly and getting organised.