Supreme Court registry
Supreme Court registries are located in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton and Brisbane, with additional regional registries throughout Queensland.
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 Supreme Court registries from Monday to Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm (excluding public and court holidays) or mail them to the registrar of the Supreme Court in your local area.
Once a proceeding commences, you must file all further documents 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.
If you wish to have the registry opened out of hours, contact the security console of the QEII Courts of Law, George Street, Brisbane on (07) 3738 7744.
Civil and criminal matters
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 in the Supreme and District court with the presentation of an indictment (see below), and may lead to trials conducted by a judge and jury.
What the registry does
The Supreme Court’s registry:
- receives documents for filing
- maintains the court's records
- performs all necessary administrative work associated with the civil and jurisdictions of the Supreme Court
- is responsible for all criminal indictments and associated paperwork for the Supreme Court
- considers, grants and seals documents for service (such as subpoenas)
- 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 Supreme 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.