IMPORTANT: If you are unwell, do not attend court. Please call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) for further instruction. 

Read the factsheet about the health and safety measures that are in place in the courts during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 [PDF, 145 KB].


Last updated 18 May 2020 at 10.36am

Courts and tribunals continue to conduct as much of its usual business as it is safely able to in COVID-19 Alert Level 2. Jury trials will not resume until 3 August 2020.

Read more information about what the courts are doing on the Courts of New Zealand website.(external link)

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).

If you are a juror who has been summonsed for trials from Monday 23 March, please do NOT come to court. All new jury trials remain suspended up to 31 July 2020.

Legal advice

Lawyers and Community Law Centres are able to provide legal advice during COVID-19 Alert Level 2. They will do this following public health measures. Visit Legal Aid Lawyers and New Zealand Law Society to find a list of lawyers.

Community Law Centres(external link) 

Legal Aid Lawyers(external link)

New Zealand Law Society(external link)

Most court counters are operating

Most court counters are open and in-person filing will be accepted. Counters remain closed at Supreme Court, Environment Court, and the Waitangi Tribunal. Drop boxes may also still be available onsite to allow any hard copy documents to be lodged safely. Electronic filing is preferred, where protocols allow this, such as in the High Court, Court of Appeal, District Court, and Māori Land Court.

Access is limited in the courts

For safety reasons, limits on the number of people who can be in the court will remain under COVID-19 Alert Level 2. Priority will be given to those who are required to be there for business of the court. Contact details for contact tracing will 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. Your lawyer may also be able to help you with this information.

Health and safety in the court

Anyone attending court is advised to follow the advice of the Ministry of Health(external link) and:

  • do not come to court if you are unwell
  • do not come to court if you have been instructed to self-isolate
  • let court staff know if you become unwell in court
  • practice coughing and sneezing etiquette
  • wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap
  • keep a 1-metre physical distance from other people.

Court participants are welcome to wear PPE during hearings. You can bring your own or request this on arrival. Rigorous cleaning standards will also continue.

Read the factsheet about the health and safety measures that are in place in the courts during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 [PDF, 145 KB].

Remote proceedings

The decision about whether parties must appear in person or not is made by the presiding judge.

Read more information about appearing by video conference and teleconference. 

For more information on requesting

  • a new hearing date for court matters, call 0800 COURTS 
  • a new hearing date for fines or civil enforcement matters, call 0800 4 FINES (0800 434 637)

Further questions? Call 0800 COURTS

If we work together, be kind to each other and follow the guidance from the Government, we can all protect ourselves and help slow the spread of the virus.  

For more advice and information on COVID-19:

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