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Changes in registry filing practices and new deadlines for requesting access to court files


    Changes in registry filing practices

    From Monday, 21 November 2011, filing parties only need to provide the Civil Registry with the original document and one copy of that document.

    The Registry will retain the original document on the Court file, and seal only the first page of the photocopied document and return it to the filing party to make any additional copies that are required to effect service.

    These new practices apply to all originating processes, and secondary documents, filed over the counter or by post at the Supreme Court.

    Further details about these changes, including the reasons for them, are as follows:

    On 9 September 2011, Amendment No 46 to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (UCPR) came into effect. The dual purpose of these amendments was to:
    • remove the requirement for filing parties to serve a defendant/s with an originating process that bears the Court's original seal, and
    • confirm that the original Court seal only needs to be applied to the first page of an originating process, and not every page*.

    *There has never been a requirement that secondary documents need to bear an original court stamp when served.

    From Monday, 21 November 2011, the Supreme Court registry will change its filing practices to reflect the current UCPR minimum filing requirements with a view to further reducing its average waiting times in the civil registry.

    After Monday, the filing party will only need to provide the Registry with the original and a single copy of the document, irrespective of whether the document is an originating process, or secondary document, or the number of defendants involved in the case.

    The original, which the registry will file, must bear original signatures, as required by the rules, and the single copy must be a true photocopy of that original document (in other words, the copy of the original document must be made after it is has been signed).

    Registry staff will then seal and file the original document and place it on the court file, as has always been the case. Registry staff will then treat the single photocopied document as follows:
    • they will add the case number to the photcopied originating process
    • they will stamp the photocopied originating process with the date it was received
    • they will apply the Court seal to the document's first page
    • they will add the first listing date to the document (if applicable).

    Once these details have been added to the photcopied document, registry staff will return this to the filing party who will then be responsible for making any additional copies that are required to serve the copies on other parties.

    New deadlines for requesting access to court files

    Due to a relocation of court files in the Registry, applications to access court files must be made by 12 noon the day before the file is to be viewed.

    The Court's Application to Access a Court File form has been updated to reflect this new deadline. The updated form can be downloaded from the following page:

    Applications may be left at the Exhibits Counter or emailed to, with "Attn: Exhibits Counter" in the subject line.

    Files will be made available for inspection from the Exhibits Counter on Level 5 of the Registry. Files will be held for inspection for a period of one week only (subject to Court requirements).

    Please note that a retrieval fee ($12) is payable for cases that have been finalised. This requirement has also been added to the Application form.

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