District Court New South Wales

Practice information

Procedure for Urgent Relief - List Judge and Duty Judge in Civil Jurisdiction

From 1 December 2020

Protocol for contacting the List Judge

Email procedures for matters listed before the court or Judicial Registrar

14 April 2014: Email procedures (PDF, 21.0 KB) are to be followed when submitting consent orders or for general email correspondence for matters listed before the District Court of NSW including the List Judge and the Judicial Registrar.

Settlements checklist

8 March 2012: An increasing number of settlement consent documents are being rejected by the Court. This results in delay, further cost and sometimes unnecessary court appearances. A checklist has been prepared to clarify the process of applying for a consent judgment.

Notice to practitioners - Coal miners' workers compensation list

March 30 2012: Although coal mining matters comprise part of the residual jurisdiction of the District Court, sections 56 to 60 (Overriding purpose) of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 apply.

All practitioners have an important  role in fostering these aims.

This includes cooperating with the opposing lawyers, resolving issues by communication with a view to avoiding unnecessary applications, not  incurring unnecessary or disproportionate costs and not wasting court time to determine  matters which the parties should be able to resolve between themselves.

Specialist jurisdictions, such as coal mining, in which a relatively small number of practitioners regularly appear, ought by their nature provide an ideal atmosphere in which to foster the aims of the legislation and thereby to limit  costs.  

Practitioners are reminded that the efficiency of the coal mining list is to a large extent dependent on good  communication, courtesy and a high level of cooperation between the members of the profession.

Judge Truss
NSW District Court
March 30 2012

Changes in registry filing practices for civil documents

December 16 2011: Changes in registry filing practices will commence on 1 January 2012. Filing parties only need to provide the civil registry with the original document and one copy of the document (this includes cases with multiple parties).

The registry will retain the original document on the court file. The registry will add the case number and listing date (if applicable) to the copy then seal only the first page of the copy. The sealed copy will then be returned to the filing party. The filing party is then responsible for making any additional copies that are required for service.

The original document filed must bear original signatures, as required by the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 and the single copy must be a true photocopy of that original document. (That is, the copy of the original document must be made after it has been signed).

These new practices apply to all originating processes and secondary documents filed at the registry in person or by post.

These changes are consistent with amendments to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 made on 9 September 2011. The purpose of the UCPR amendment was to:

  • remove the requirement for filing parties to serve a defendant/s with an originating process that bears the court's original seal, and
  • confirm that the original court seal only needs to be applied to the first page of an originating process, and not every page. (Note: there is no requirement for a secondary document to bear an original court seal when served)

These new practices are consistent with practices of the Supreme Court.

Commencement of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – summary prosecutions in the District Court

7 December 2011: The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 commences on 1 January 2012. 

Section 229B(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provides that, except as provided by this section, proceedings for an offence against the Act or the regulations are to dealt with summarily before the Local Court or before the District Court in its summary jurisdiction.

Attention is drawn to the following matters that are relevant to summary prosecutions before the District Court:


The above filing practice does not apply to subpoenas. There is no change to the requirement of filing one subpoena for sealing as per Civil Practice Note 8. There is no requirement for the registry to retain a copy of the subpoena.

Settlements in the District Court - information for practitioners

17 May 2011: Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 36.1A (1) provides that a court may give judgment, or order that judgment be entered, in terms of an agreement between parties. Unless there is a particular reason that a verdict is required that is clearly stated in the agreement, parties are requested not to seek a 'verdict' but rather a 'judgment' when preparing terms of agreement (eg a consent judgment) under rule 36.1A

Judgment may be delayed if an order for a 'verdict' is sought because the registry must refer such matters to the judicial registrar or a judge to consider, as assistant registrars do not have authority to order a verdict.

Practitioners are also reminded that barristers do not have the authority to sign documents on behalf of a party (see UCPR 4.4). If counsel sign terms of agreement the terms may not be accepted by the court.


Appearances in the District Court - 2021

Notice to parties - Civil case management in the general list

December 8 2011: Parties before the Sydney District Court often do not comply with the provisions of Civil Practice Note 1 in relation to both the preparation for hearing and the use of expert reports. This notice draws particular attention to the parts of Civil Practice Note 1 that will be strictly applied at future pre-trial hearings and status conferences:

1.2 Parties should expect to be allocated a trial date within 12 months of the commencement of proceedings and plan to meet this time standard.

2.1 Parties must not commence proceedings until they are ready to  comply with the requirements of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (UCPR) and the court's practice notes for preparation and trial. This means that, except in special circumstances, the plaintiff's preparation for trial must be well advanced before filing the statement of claim.

 5.7 The court will give directions for the service of expert reports under rule 31.19 UCPR at the pre-trial conference. The parties must be able to tell the court the precise nature of any expert evidence to be relied on and the names of all experts so that appropriate directions can be made. All reports must be served at least 28 days before the status conference.

8.2 Cases in the General List will be required to take a hearing date at the status conference even though there are still some matters to be completed before the hearing. Appropriate orders will be made.

Craig Smith
Judicial Registrar
NSW District Court
8 December 2011

Last updated:

21 Jun 2023

Was this content useful?
We will use your rating to help improve the site.
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Top Return to top of page Top