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Court services and processes are changing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific measures are in place at courts and tribunals to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

The District court recommenced new jury trials on 25 October 2021. COVID-19 safety precautions will be adopted combining pre-existing measures from last year and new enhanced measures in response to the Delta strain, including:

  • fully vaccinated jurors;
  • routine rapid antigen testing;
  • 4m2 capacity rule in courtrooms;
  • social distancing of jurors in the courtroom;
  • enlarged jury deliberation rooms and empanelment areas;
  • individualised jury meals; and,
  • mandatory face mask wearing.

More information on the changes to court operations is available on the District Court website

Information for jurors is outline on this page in the section Jury Service.

Current restrictions on attending courts and tribunals

Courts and tribunals have measures in place to conduct proceedings without the need for attending where possible.

You do not need to attend a Court or Tribunal unless you:

  • are a party to a court or tribunal matter and no other arrangements are in place to conduct proceedings remotely
  • are a juror already empanelled for ongoing trials (see below for further information)
  • require face-to-face services of the registry and no other arrangements are in place to enable this remotely
  • are a representative of a news-media organisation with a legitimate reason for attending court.

Do not attend a court or tribunal if you:

  • have had COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • have had close contact with a diagnosed, suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • you are feeling unwell and have any of the following symptoms:
    • fever
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • shortness of breath.

Registrars and Sheriff’s officers may deny entry or request any person to leave a building. You must follow the directions of Registrars and Sheriff's officers.

Further information is provided on this page and in the links below.

Court and tribunal enquiries

If you cannot attend a court, or if you are unsure, contact the Courts Service Centre by email nswcsc@justice.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 679 272.

You can find further information below, including contact details for specific courts.

If you have enquiries relating to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) call 1300 006 228 or visit www.ncat.nsw.gov.au.

Further measures at NSW Courts and Tribunals

The health and wellbeing of all court and tribunal users is the paramount consideration for NSW Courts and Tribunals. Measures and precautions are being taken to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Access is restricted to certain people and where possible proceedings will be conducted remotely or online.

The measures and arrangements in place may differ for NSW courts and tribunals. Further information on the arrangements in place can be found on the relevant courts and tribunals websites, or by contacting the court or tribunal directly. Follow the links below to find out more:

Jury Service

The District Court will lift the temporary suspension of new jury trials and resume these trials in the Greater Sydney, Newcastle, Gosford and Wollongong on 25 October, 2021.

COVID-19 safety precautions will be adopted at these locations combining pre-existing measures from last year and new enhanced measures in response to the Delta strain which may include:

  • fully vaccinated jurors;
  • routine rapid antigen testing;
  • 4m2 capacity rule in courtrooms;
  • social distancing of jurors in the courtroom;
  • enlarged jury deliberation rooms and empanelment areas;
  • individualised jury meals; and,
  • mandatory face mask wearing.

Trials that had already commenced when the suspension was put in place on 28 June, 2021 were able to continue and are not impacted by this change.

More information on the changes to court operations is available on the District Court website.

Jurors can access more information at Jury service and download FACTSHEET: Ensuring Juror Safety during COVID-19 or login to the Juror portal.

If you have received a summons for jury service and need further information, contact the juror information line on 1300 780 199 or visit www.juror.nsw.gov.au.

FAQ

These FAQ are also available for download.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated (have received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine) to attend for jury service?

Yes. Your vaccination requirement may vary between court locations and is dependent on other factors such as number of COVID cases in the area.

Do I need to provide proof of my vaccination/s?

Yes. Please bring this with you when attending jury service. You can access your vaccination records through Medicare. Your vaccination records will be sighted only. You will not be asked to provide a copy of your records.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes. The wearing of masks is mandatory in all court premises unless you meet the requirements for an exemption under the Public Health Order and can provide evidence to support this.

What has been put in place to ensure my safety?

The Office of the Sheriff has worked with NSW Health to implement measures to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19. This includes compliance with the 4m2 rule, physical distancing, use of hand sanitiser, additional cleaning, individually packed meals and screening of all persons entering court premises.

What is Rapid Antigen Screening (RAS)?

RAS is quick and easy. It involves a nasal swab using a small cotton bud-like instrument that is placed into a chemical solution. RAS displays a result within approximately 15 minutes.

RAS differs from the PCR test, which involves taking a deep nasal sample and throat sample and is tested in a laboratory. Rapid antigen screening is a tool to help detect COVID-19 in people without any symptoms.

Will I be required to undergo Rapid Antigen Screening (RAS)?

Yes. All persons attending jury service will be required to undergo RAS prior to entering a court

premises in Greater Sydney, Dubbo, Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong and other regional court locations as deemed necessary.

Will Rapid Antigen Screening (RAS) be conducted at all NSW Court locations?

No. Rapid Antigen Screening (RAS) will be conducted at all Greater Sydney, Dubbo, Gosford, Newcastle and Wollongong courts. Screening may also be conducted at other Regional NSW court locations following a risk assessment of the prevalence of COVID-19 in the area.

I have had a past confirmed infection of COVID-19 in the last 6 months. What do I need to do?

You need to bring with you your signed and completed COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication form or your medical clearance notice. These will be sighted by our staff.

You will not be required to undergo Rapid Antigen Screening. This will apply for up to six (6) months from the date of the medical clearance notice.

Which courts are currently in Greater Sydney?

Greater Sydney Court locations include: Downing Centre Court Complex, Darlinghurst, King Street, Central, Parramatta, Penrith, Katoomba, Campbelltown, Gosford and Wollongong.

What can I expect on the day I attend jury service?

On the day of your summons, you will arrive at the court complex and be directed to an area specifically set aside for juror processing. You will be asked some screening questions by one of our staff members to confirm your availability to serve. You will then be asked to provide evidence of your vaccination status and will be asked to undergo and Rapid Antigen Screening (RAS) test.

You will then be required to engage in an induction to prepare you for jury service if selected.

Do I get paid for jury service?

For detailed information on juror payments, please refer to: https://www.courts.nsw.gov.au/courts-and-tribunals/for-jurors/for-individuals-/payment-for-jury-service.html

What do I do if I have received a NSW Health notification that I have attended a COVID hotspot or need to self-isolate?

If you cannot attend jury service on the date of your summons because you are required to undertake COVID testing or self-isolate, you must contact 1300 722 574 as soon as possible to notify the Office of the Sheriff and receive further instructions. You may be required to provide evidence of this. Under no circumstances should you attend the court.

What if I have received a summons and my LGA has gone into lockdown?

You must check the juror website www.juror.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 780 199 after 4:30 pm on the day prior to your required date for further instructions.  This also includes weekends.

Legal support

For useful information or legal support, visit the Legal services and support page.

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Last updated: 11 Nov 2021