The New Zealand Family Court (NZFC) is an ideal public sector application for social informatics. In a study investigating ICT-assisted communications which was conducted with multiple court stakeholders, paradoxical results emerged. This research is positioned within a five-fold layered theoretical framework encompassing: private/public space; sense of self; emotional energies; digital citizenship; and (Sawyer, 2005)’s five common observations about research in the field of social informatics. This richly textured theoretical framework provides grounding for results within and across disciplines revealing deeply engrained behaviours, emotional states, customs, workplace cultures, and the problems associated with solving private problems in public spaces.