Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Public Notices

The following public notice is provided to all users of the Magistrates Court (including members of the public and the legal profession) on the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and the measures that the Magistrates Court has put in place to mitigate the risks to court users.

Following the easing of restrictions by the WA Government (due to the continued low number of new COVID-19 cases) the Magistrates Court will begin the process of safely returning to normal Court operations.

This direction applies to court staff, legal practitioners, parties (to proceedings), parties (directly involved in a court matter), witnesses, media, contractors, and members of the public.

Persons in self-isolation

In line with the current health advice, the Magistrates Court has identified groups of persons who are required to self-isolate, and are directed not to enter the Court precincts (including courtrooms, hearing rooms and registries).

Persons in self- isolation are persons who:

  • have travelled and returned from overseas or interstate in the past 14 days; or
  • have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
  • have a fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (IE – cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath); or
  • have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are currently in quarantine.

Any person considered high risk and is in self- isolation should contact the Magistrates Court location that is dealing with the case to inform the Court that they are self-isolating, and to make an application to the Court to request orders to appear by alternative means.

For further information on whether you are considered a “high risk” individual, please refer to the Australian Government Department of Heath website.

Other persons

Gatherings that are necessary for the normal business of offices and other essential services are not bound by the physical distancing requirements. To avoid an outbreak of COVID-19, persons (other than those in self- isolation) should observe physical distancing and practice good personal hygiene while they are in the precincts of court.

While the Magistrates Court remains open to the public, the Court recommends that only legal practitioners, parties (directly involved in Court attendances), witnesses and media should attend court hearings.

Each party (directly involved in Court attendances) may attend their matter with one support person. Other members of the public and additional support persons are requested not to attend and may be prevented from entering depending on the number of people present.

Where a non-participant, such as an additional support person wishes to attend, they should seek prior approval from the presiding judicial officer by emailing the relevant court location, at least 3 working days prior to the date. Where prior approval is not obtained, entry may be refused on the day by the Registry Manager or Registrar.

Safe hygiene rules

People who enter the building must comply with safe hygiene rules including:

  • Washing your hands on entry and exit to the Court precinct
  • Ensuring appropriate physical distancing
  • Coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the crook of your arm (not into your hands) and
  • Disposing of tissues in a bin, and washing your hands following the disposal of tissues.

Where a large number of people are listed in a particular court, directions may be given restricting the number of people in the Court precincts, and giving “not before times” to the parties. In addition, signs have been placed on the doors of each courtroom setting out the maximum capacity of people per court.

Alcohol- based hand sanitiser has been made available at the entrance to the Magistrates Court (with appropriate signage in place encouraging people to use the hand sanitiser).

The Magistrates Court also encourages court users to download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app, to ensure that all court users are kept safe, and users can be traced in the event of exposure to COVID-19.

At this point in time, Registry services will continue to operate as they usually do, however, all parties are encouraged to lodge documents electronically.

Where practical, all documents presented for lodgment in the Magistrates Court should be presented for lodgment electronically (using the Court’s Electronic Case Management System (“ECMS”). You may register for the ECMS on the eCourts Portal

Where the ECMS is not available then (in order of preference) documents should be presented for lodgment by:

  • Email to the Magistrates Court that is dealing with the case
  • Post
  • Facsimile to the Magistrates Court that is dealing with the case or
  • (Where available) placing documents in the secure drop box located at the Magistrates Court Registry.

Contact details (including email addresses and facsimile numbers) for all Magistrates Court locations can be found on the Magistrates Court website.

The page limits prescribed in Rule 11(3) of the Magistrates Court (General) Rules 2005 for lodgment of documents by facsimile are suspended.

Court listings will return to normal effective from 2 June, 2020.

The Chief Magistrate has requested Judicial Officers to adopt a generous attitude when a party seeks to have a hearing adjourned due to self- isolation, or because a person falls into a high risk category.

Where a party does not wish to appear before the Magistrates Court in person (due to self- isolation or falling into a “high risk” category), they are encouraged to notify the Magistrates Court of their concerns in writing, and request to appear at the hearing by telephone link.

For the ease of the presiding judicial officer, it is also recommended that the party detail the matter number (IE – Prosecution Number, or Case Reference), their email address, and (direct) telephone number they wish to be called on at the hearing.

The contact details (including email addresses and facsimile numbers) for all Magistrates Court locations can be found on the Magistrates Court website.

Exchange of Paper Documents

Documents should not be handed up to the judicial officer in open court. Documents that need to be tendered in Court should be presented to the Magistrates Court electronically (using the eCourts Portal, email, or facsimile) or by registered post, in advance of the hearing or trial.

Unless specified below, the exchange of documents between the parties in Court, should be determined between the parties, without the involvement of the Court.

Where parties seek to send a document to the Court whilst it is sitting, the party is permitted to use their mobile telephone, tablet, or computer in the courtroom to email the document to the relevant Magistrates Court, and the judicial support officer will print or email the document for the Magistrate.

Where parties wish to receive a document from the Court whilst it is sitting (such as a transcript, or a late report), they are permitted to use their mobile telephone, tablet, or computer in the courtroom, and the judicial support officer will email the document to the party/ies.

The contact details (including email addresses and facsimile numbers) for all Magistrates Court locations can be found on the Magistrates Court website.

At this point in time, Restraining Order hearings will continue as listed. Subject to the views of the presiding judicial officer and unless ordered otherwise, personal attendance is required at Restraining Order hearings.

In all circumstances, victims of family violence are encouraged to contact the Family Violence Service duty line on 1800 600 476, or via the Department of Justice website located here.

Initial Applications and Applications to Vary or Cancel Restraining Orders

Applications for restraining orders can be made at any Magistrates Court registry in person. Applications may also be lodged using the online restraining order application service. The service was introduced to make it possible for people seeking the protection of a restraining order to lodge their application without having to attend a Magistrates Court registry.

Applications made using the online restraining order application service must be lodged by an approved organisation. For further information on the online restraining order application service and approved organisations, please refer to the Victims of Crime website.

When an applicant is making the initial application to the Court and they’re self- isolating or otherwise directed not to enter the Court precincts parties are directed to present the restraining order application for lodgment by:

  • Email to their nearest Magistrates Court registry or
  • Facsimile to their nearest Magistrates Court registry.

You may access the relevant restraining order application from the Magistrates Court website. The contact details (including email addresses and facsimile numbers) for all Magistrates Court locations can also be found on the Magistrates Court website.

The page limits prescribed in Rule 11(3) of the Magistrates Court (General) Rules 2005 for lodgment of documents by facsimile are suspended.

Where a party is trying to lodge a document other than the initial restraining order application, they may do so in accordance with the direction provided under the heading Lodgment of Documents in the Magistrates Court.

Affidavit in Support of Application

Where an applicant wishes to provide evidence by affidavit in support of their initial application under section 28(1) of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA), the affidavit must comply with the ordinary signing requirements set out under Part 3 of the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005 (WA).

At this point in time, any affidavit lodged under section 28(1) of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA) by who is self- isolating or otherwise directed not to enter the precincts of Court, does not require the maker of the affidavit to comply with the requirements of Part 3 of the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005 (WA). In these circumstances, the applicant is not required to:

  • Have the affidavit sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised witness or
  • Detail where and when the affidavit was sworn or affirmed.

All Applicants are strongly encouraged to make their application for an Extraordinary Licence electronically. Contact details (including email addresses and facsimile numbers) for all Magistrates Court locations can be found on the Magistrates Court website.

Subject to the views of the presiding judicial officer, personal attendance is required at Extraordinary Drivers Licence Application hearings.


Last updated: 14-Jun-2021

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