Fees for access to court documents

On this page you will find information about the fees charged for access to court documents.

Access to court documents: fees

The rules covering access to court documents in both civil and criminal proceedings are set by the Rules Committee – a statutory body established under the Judicature Act 1908.

Rules Committee (external link)

Judicature Act 1908 (external link)

The rules ensure a general right of access to court documents, subject to any enactment, court order, or direction limiting or prohibiting access or publication. For anyone, other than parties to proceedings who are entitled to one free copy, access to court documents is subject to the payment of a fee.  The same fee will be charged to anyone who is not party to the case. This includes the public, non-party solicitors, and the media.

No fee is charged for the provision of appearance dates.

Courts will aim to provide access as soon as is practicable, taking in to account such things as the scope of the request, how long it will take for an officer of the court to actually provide access and when the matter is due to be heard next.

Waiver of fees

All rules governing access to court documents include provisions that allow for a waiver of fees on certain grounds.

In civil proceedings, a person can apply to the Registrar to waiver the fee on the basis of financial hardship.

In criminal proceedings, a person can apply to the Judge or Registrar to waiver the fee on the basis of financial hardship or on the grounds that that person should not be required to pay the fee.

Find out more information and any forms needed for any application to waiver court fees.

Fees charged

Civil proceedings (District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal

  • to search or inspect the formal court record:
    • for the first name or case searched: $30
    • for each additional name or case searched: $5
  • to request access/copy to one or more documents: $30

NOTE: that if a fee has been paid to search or inspect a document, then no second fee is payable to access/copy that document.

Criminal proceedings (District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal)

  •  to request access/copy to one or more documents: $30

Proceedings in the Supreme Court

  • copy of a judgment: $30
  • copy of any other document per page: plain $0.20; colour $0.40
  • for documents in electronic form: actual and reasonable

Fees payable by parties to a proceedings

Parties are entitled to the first copy of any document free of charge. If further copies are requested then nominal fees will be charged depending on the nature of the document and/or number of pages required to be copied. The court will specify any fee payable upon receipt of request.

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