District Court registry
Permanent District Court registries are located at Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville, and Cairns.
Registrars at those centres are responsible for determining certain applications without the necessity for judicial involvement, such as default judgments.
Further District Court registries are located at Beenleigh, Ipswich, Maroochydore and Southport. Other centres throughout Queensland are visited on circuit, and local Magistrates Courts staff perform the registry duties at those times.
These registries are open for general business on weekdays (except public and court holidays). Check with your local courthouse for specific opening times.
You can file documents in District Court registries from Monday to Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm (excluding public and court holidays) or mail them to the registrar of the District Court in your local area.
Once a proceeding is commenced, all further documents must be filed in that registry.
The Brisbane registry can be opened after hours in urgent situations, but a deputy registrar must authorise the opening. You need to pay a fee at the time of opening.
Civil and criminal matters
If a dispute involves an amount more than $150,000 but less than $750,000, it will generally be heard in the District Court.
Generally, each court has a criminal and civil jurisdiction:
- A civil matter involves a party (an entity such as a person, company or government agency) who is in dispute with another party and seeks compensation or some other remedy. To start a civil action, generally a claim or originating application is filed in the registry of the court with the relevant jurisdiction.
- A criminal matter involves the prosecution of a defendant for a criminal offence. Criminal matters are commenced with the presentation of an indictment (see below), and may lead to trials conducted by a judge and jury.
What the registry does
The District Court’s registry:
- receives documents for filing
- maintains the court's records
- performs all necessary administrative work associated with the Planning and Environment Court and the civil jurisdictions of the District Court
- seal documents for service (such as subpoenas)
- perform all necessary administrative work associated with the criminal jurisdictions of the District Court (including Childrens Court with a District Court judge presiding)
- deals with warrants issued for criminal matters
- coordinates the referral of warrants to the Queensland Police Service for execution
- deals with other matters including sureties for bail.
Accessing files and documents
In the District Court, you can do a limited search of many civil files online.
Alternatively, ask at the counter of, or write to, the registry where the civil action was initiated requesting copies of a file or document filed in an action.
There is a fee for anyone to copy a file or a document filed in an action, and a fee to search a file if you’re not party to the action. (Read more about fees.)
You can also apply to search and copy court documents online.
Certificate of indictment
An indictment is a document that sets out the offence that the Crown alleges the defendant has committed.
A certificate of indictment contains details of the indictment, including date presented, the court that heard the matter, the defendant, plea dates, sentence date and sentence (if any).
To apply for a certificate of indictment, use our online form or send a letter to the deputy registrar of the registry. Include the reasons for your request and as much information as possible about the defendant and their matter.
There is a fee for a certificate of indictment. Enclose a cheque for the full amount with your request letter.