UPDATE 22 September 2021: The Auckland region is at COVID-19 Alert Level 3. The remainder of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2.  

Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 alert levels but are operating differently.

Jury trials at Alert Level 3
In the Auckland region, no new jury trials will begin in the High Court or District Court. Jury trials that were underway prior to Alert Level 4 will remain adjourned (put on hold).

Jury trials at Alert Level 2
For the rest of New Zealand, jury trials re-commenced in the District Court from 8 September 2021. However, judges will decide on a case-by-case basis whether each trial can proceed, taking into account the case's individual circumstances. Scheduled High Court jury trials re-commenced from 20 September 2021.

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.

Other cases
In the Auckland region, District Court matters considered 'priority proceedings' will be conducted remotely where possible in the Criminal, Family, Youth and Civil jurisdictions. High Court business will also be conducted remotely where possible. Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) or contact the registry directly at Contact us if you have questions about a specific case and whether it is a ‘priority proceeding’.

For the rest of New Zealand, courts will progressively increase their workload as local conditions and capacity allow, in line with the updated Alert Level 2 protocols (see link below).

Counter services
Court counters are closed during Alert Level 3. In Auckland, you can file court documents and applications and make payments online, using File & Pay(external link). Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.

For the rest of New Zealand, court counters are open as normal in all courts under Alert Level 2, with appropriate health and safety measures in place.

Please refer to the latest media statement from the Chief Justice for more information about jury service, court operations and court protocols during COVID-19 Alert Levels 2 and 3:

Chief Justice Media statement-  20 September 2021(external link) [PDF, 508 KB]

Please also refer to Courts of NZ website for further updates and specific court protocols:

Courts of New Zealand - court protocols(external link)

Please do not come to the courthouse if you are feeling unwell. 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.

Health and Safety

We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff. 

Entry to court buildings is restricted during heightened alert levels. For those permitted in court buildings, please wear a mask, wash/sanitise your hands, and maintain social distancing.

Everyone entering the court is required to sign in. Court participants are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app(external link) and use mobile devices to scan the COVID-19 QR code at the main entrance of a courthouse, or use the manual contact tracing register.

Follow the link above to court protocols for information applicable to your region. 

There is more information in our health and safety factsheets available from the top of our COVID-19 hub page.

Excusals and deferrals

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 can 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.

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.

What’s a jury?

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.

Why have I received a jury summons?

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.

Watch videos about what you can expect from jury service(external link).

Face masks and hand sanitisers will be supplied by the court. Measures are in place to allow jury trials to proceed safely with appropriate physical distancing in the courtroom and jury retiring room. Court users are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app(external link) and use mobile devices to scan the COVID-19 QR code at the main entrance of a courthouse, otherwise the manual contact tracing register must be used. We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court users and staff. Follow the link above to court protocols for information applicable to your region. There is more information in our health and safety factsheets available from the top of our COVID-19 hub page.For more information for court users, see: Information for all court and tribunal users.Excusals and deferralsIf 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 can request to have your jury service excused or deferred (postponed). Please contact your local court for more information.