UPDATE 13 September 2022: Courts remain an essential service and will remain open despite the presence of COVID-19 in the community.
Courts and Tribunals have protocols(external link) that provide a framework for ensuring that everyone who needs to participate in proceedings is able to do so.
Entering a court building
A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 may not enter a court building until they have completed 7 days self-isolation and have been symptom-free for 24 hours.
A person who is showing signs of illness may be denied entry to the court and/or be asked to do a RAT test.
Health and Safety
There may be limits on the number of people not directly involved in proceedings who can be physically present in courtrooms and court buildings.
To protect the safety of all court participants and staff, the following health and safety measures can be expected if you are visiting a court or tribunal:
Detailed information about jury service, and how jury trials are operating, is outlined in the Jury Trial Guidelines that apply from 13 September 2022(external link)
If you have received a jury service summons, you can check if you need to attend jury service on our website at: Check if you need to attend jury service.
Excusals and deferrals for jury trials
If you are not willing to undergo COVID-19 screening, you may ask, before you come to court, to have your jury service deferred. You should complete the “Response to Jury summons” form provided to you, selecting “other personal circumstances” and include the reason in the space provided before returning it to the Ministry in the pre-paid envelope provided.
If you have experienced changes to family or financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or if you have health and safety concerns, you may request to have your jury service excused or deferred (postponed). Please contact your local court for more information.
Find contact details for a court or tribunal
Other types of cases
High and District Court matters will proceed in person unless you are advised otherwise. Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) or contact the registry directly at Contact us if you have questions about a specific case.
Please note that all people attending Court for hearings longer than one day may be asked to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
Specialist Courts and Tribunals have implemented their own operating protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols(external link)
Public court counters are open. Some courts in smaller centres will have counter services available only on scheduled hearing days.
Exceptions to usual operating hours may occur at times due to unforeseen circumstances. Please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you are unsure.
Electronic filing of documents continues to be available in most jurisdictions. Court documents and applications can be filed, with online payments, using File & Pay(external link) or electronically by email if agreed by the Judge or Registrar. Drop boxes for hard copy documents are also available at all court entrances. Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.
Contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you cannot enter the courthouse or are not sure whether to attend. Find contact details for a court or tribunal.
For more information for court users, see Information for all court and tribunal users.
Detailed information about jury service, and how jury trials are operating, is outlined in the Jury Trial Guidelines that apply from 13 September 2022
Every year, thousands of New Zealanders give their time to serve on juries in the High and District Courts. Jury service is an important way you contribute to your country and your local community. Jurors help make sure the justice system is fair for all New Zealanders.
A jury is a group of 12 people from the community, randomly selected from the Electoral Roll. They hear the evidence of a case, decide on the facts and then reach a verdict – guilty or not guilty.
If you’re enrolled to vote, you can be randomly selected (‘summoned’) for jury service.
If you’re summoned, you’ll get a letter and a form that tells you to come to court for jury service. The letter will tell you the date, time and the court you should come to. You’ll need to send the form back to the court.
You must come to court, unless you get a letter or email from the court before the court date telling you that you’ve been excused.
Even though you’ve been summoned, it doesn’t mean you’ll be selected to serve on a jury.
Find out how to respond to your summons, what arrangements you might need to make while you’re on a jury, and what to do if you can’t attend court for jury service.
Find out what you’ll be paid for doing jury service, and what expenses (like childcare, transport and parking) you can ask the court to help you pay for.
Find out whether you need to attend jury service today or tomorrow.
In the week before you are due to appear for jury service, the court may choose to pre-ballot to help reduce the number of people who need to come to court.
Find out what to expect before you arrive at court and what you’ll need to do on the day.
Find out about arriving at court the first time.
Find out more about the jury selection process at court.
Find out more about your role as a juror.
Find out more about what happens in a jury trial and the different roles of people involved.
Find out what support and guidance is available to you after the trial.
Fill out and send in the jury response form.
If one of your employees has been summoned for jury service, here’s what you need to know.
While we've tried to give as much information as possible in this section, it's likely you'll have some questions about jury service. This page has some common questions.
Definitions of common words you might hear during your jury service.
Find out how to contact us about jury service.