Courts and tribunals continue to conduct as much of its usual business as it is safely able to in COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
If you have a scheduled date to appear in court, you will need to come to court, unless you are advised otherwise. If you are unsure when your matter is scheduled to be considered, please speak to your lawyer or contact 0800 Courts (0800 268 787).
This page was last updated on 22 May at 1.25pm
For help and advice about COVID-19, visit the New Zealand Government website:
Please find answers to some frequently asked questions below.
Yes, most courts are open.
The majority of counters are open under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 for filing and general enquiries. Most sites will have plastic shields at counters to guard people against fluids. This means that participants can stand at the counter instead of 1-metre away to ensure a more private interaction.
For safety reasons, there will be limits on the number of people who can be in the court.
Priority will be given to those who are required to be there for business of the court. Identification for contact tracing may be required to gain entry to the court. Physical distancing of 1-metre must be maintained at all times.
In some court jurisdictions, complainants, supporters and members of the public may need advance permission to attend matters from the presiding judge. For more information, or to get permission to attend proceedings in person, please contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787).
Courts and tribunals will conduct as much of its usual business as it is safely able to in COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
IMPORTANT: If you are unwell, do not attend court or any other public place. Please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) for further instruction.
If you have a scheduled date to appear in court, you will need to come to court, unless you are advised otherwise.
If you are unsure when your matter is scheduled to be considered, please speak to your lawyer or contact 0800 Courts (0800 268 787).
Filing by email
For District Court documents/applications, only those that can ordinarily be filed by email will be accepted electronically during COVID-19 Alert Level 2, or where the protocols allow it.
For filing and serving documents in the Family Court, normal processes apply under COVID-19 Alert Level 2. Please see more information at:
The High Court and Court of Appeal prefers that participants continue to file their documents by email during COVID-19 Alert Level 2, particularly if you believe your matter needs urgent attention.
Filing by post
You can file by post, even if the court is closed. There will likely be delay in the processing of your documents if you file by post.
If you choose to send documents by courier, confirm that the court is open and will have staff available to accept the package. The courier will need to follow the process on the Court signage and call the 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) for assistance.
Filing in person
Counter services will be available at most courts during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 to receive documents for filing.
Additionally, some courts will have drop boxes available where participants can submit their documents.
Courts providing drop boxes will have signage explaining where the boxes are located.
All filing fees for documents or applications submitted during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 are required.
More information will be provided on this shortly.
Lawyers are able to provide advice during COVID-19 Alert Level 2. They will do this to the extent possible while maintaining compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. Legal aid is still available. A list of legal aid lawyers can be found on our Ministry of Justice website:
You may be eligible for assistance from a Community Law Centre. You should phone them first, as a range of working practices are now in place across the country to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. You can find their contact details on the Community Law website.(external link)
If you need help completing court forms or applications, you'll need to seek legal advice. The Citizens Advice Bureau or a Community Law Centre are available to provide legal advice by phone or email.
Cases that were administratively adjourned during COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and 4 will be reviewed and prioritised for rescheduling.
No - Please see information for jurors here:
At COVID-19 Alert Level 2, parenting arrangements return to normal, while still following public health measures.
Household bubbles do not need to be maintained and you can reconnect with friends and family, in a safe way. There is no restriction on distance of travel. Travel in a safe way, following public health measures.
Yes, there are no restrictions on movement at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 for parenting arrangements. Simple precautions should be taken to protect the health of parents and children.
Children should stay in one home if they're feeling unwell, or if someone in their home is unwell or has been overseas in the last 14 days. This will protect the health of parents, caregivers and children.
The government continues to take family violence and sexual violence very seriously. Violence is a crime at any time.
Family violence and sexual violence services are available, even if services need to be delivered in different ways.
More information on family violence and sexual violence is available here:
During COVID-19 Alert Level 2, the normal processes for protection orders and parenting orders apply. Please see more information at:
Some Justice of the Peace (JP) services are available during COVID-19 Alert Level 2. The availability of JPs will vary from location to location.
More information can be found on the Justice of the Peace website.(external link)
The Criminal Records Unit continues to operate during COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
The Criminal Records Unit phoneline will not be in service during this time. If you have a query please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. District Courts can now deal with unscheduled appearances during COVID-19 restrictions. Please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) for further instructions.
Yes. Court victim advisors are available. Please call 0800 COURTS for further assistance.
For more information on the support services available during COVID-19 restrictions, please see the Chief Victims Advisor's statement:
You or your lawyer can download and complete the following form here:
Once the application is completed, please send it to your local district court:
When sending the email:
If you can’t access the form, or do not have a lawyer, please contact 0800 COURTS for further assistance.
If your circumstances have changed and you can no longer meet a payment arrangement, please contact 0800 4 FINES.
If you want to check your fine balance or set up an arrangement to pay your fines, please contact 0800 4 FINES.
Regular updates will be posted to this page outlining our response as it develops. If you can’t find the information you need, please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) in the first instance.
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