Supreme Court of New South Wales

Supreme court duty registrar services

Find us

The duty registrar's interview room is located in the Supreme Court Registry, Level 5 of the Courts Building, Queens Square Sydney.

The Supreme Court duty registrar is available in person or by telephone by appointment only at 10am and 3pm weekdays, excluding public holidays.  Any duty registrar enquiry outside of this time can be sent to

How the duty registrar can help

The duty registrar can assist with the following:

  • applications as to whether documents that do not comply with the approved form or relevant rules should be permitted to be filed
  • applications from parties without legal representation for leave to issue a subpoena. A supporting affidavit is required before a subpoena will be approved
  • applications to abridge time for serving subpoenas or notices of motion
  • urgent applications for a stay of a writ
  • instalment applications
  • urgent applications for substituted service, and
  • applications to postpone a court fee.

The duty registrar can provide the following advice:

  • general information about court practices and procedures
  • what forms are required
  • procedural advice in relation to proceedings currently before the Court, or in relation to proposed proceedings, and
  • information about providers of free legal advice.

Procedural assistance by the duty registrar is primarily for unrepresented litigants. Lawyers are expected to have undertaken their own research before approaching the Duty Registrar for procedural advice.

Making an appointment with the duty registrar

Appointments are available at 10am and 3pm weekdays (excluding public holidays). The maximum time for each appointment is 20 minutes. Appointments must be made in advance and cannot be made on the day. 

Appointments are made with the duty registrar by emailing the court at the general enquiries email address. The subject line in your email should state: "Request for Appointment with the Duty Registrar". The body of your email should state the date and time you would like to have your appointment and provide both a contact telephone number and email address.

After you have made an email request for an appointment, please wait until you receive an email from the registry confirming the date and time of your appointment.

On the day of your appointment, there is no requirement for you to take a ticket from the ticket machine. Please proceed to interview room 9 in the registry on level 5 at your scheduled time.

Please make sure you bring any paperwork and your case number when attending your appointment.

Appointments to take an Oath of Office may be made at 9:30am weekdays (excluding pubilc holidays).  Please follow the same procedure stated above.

Non-urgent applications

The duty registrar does not process non-urgent applications or enter non-urgent orders or writs during duty sessions. These must be filed and processed in the registry in the usual way.

Urgent applications

Requests for the duty registrar to process urgent applications, and requests to make urgent orders or issue writs must be substantiated in writing. Agents of solicitors must have a letter from the solicitor outlining the reasons for urgency. You will need to take a ticket for the duty registrar. Your enquiry will then be referred to the duty registrar in chambers to determine if your application is urgent. Examples of urgent applications include:

  • applications for stays on writs for possession where the eviction is scheduled to take place within the next five business days;
  • short service on subpoenas; and
  • parties referred by a Judge for procedural assistance from the duty registrar.

What the duty registrar cannot do

The duty registrar is an officer of the Court and must remain impartial. The duty registrar is not permitted to:

  1. complete your forms
  2. file your documents. If you are filing documents or issuing subpoenas you should take a separate number for the Document Lodgement Counter
  3. recommend a lawyer
  4. give legal advice - legal advice includes:
  • ​​​investigating your issues and determining whether you have a valid case to bring to court.
  • giving an opinion as to the outcome of your case
  • advising you what type of proceeding to take
  • advising you what words to use in your court papers
  • advising you whether your evidence is sufficient; and
  • advising you what to say in court.
Critical alert
What a registrar will not do

For legal advice you should consult an independent lawyer.

The duty registrar is not an expert in procedures in other Courts and Tribunals and will decline to provide advice in relation to procedures in other Courts and Tribunals. You will be referred to that other Court or Tribunal.

The duty registrar will not review probate documents before they are filed.

Last updated:

05 Oct 2023

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