Supreme Court of New South Wales

Issuing and inspecting subpoenas

 

Practice Notes

The following Supreme Court Practice notes provide specific directions in relation to the return of subpoenas, and need to be read in conjunction with any direction or protocol issued by the Chief Justice for appearances to take place in the Virtual Courtroom:

Civil subpoena forms

The civil subpoena forms can be found here: https://ucprforms.nsw.gov.au/

Criminal subpoena forms

The criminal subpoena forms prescribed under Supreme Court Rules 1970, Schedule F are:

Producing material to the court and lodging material with the court online

For civil matters, all material produced to the Court should be submitted through NSW Subpoena Response. Once registered, guided on-screen prompts will assist you to upload your response to a subpoena. Subpoenas requiring the production of original material should be produced to the registry. You are required to attach a copy of the subpoena form when producing documents.

Documents in response to a Notice to Produce or an Order for Production cannot be uploaded through NSW Subpoena Response. All material produced in response to these requests should be emailed to sc.subpoena@justice.nsw.gov.au. You are required to attach a copy of the subpoena form when producing documents.

For criminal matters, all material produced to the Court should be emailed to sc.subpoena@justice.nsw.gov.au. You are required to attach a copy of the subpoena form when producing documents.

 

Do not produce any original material to the registry or Court unless the subpoena asks you to do so.

Always retain a copy of any material produced to the Court.

Return of Subpoena List

The Return of Subpoena List is generally conducted at the Supreme Court at Sydney,  at 9:00am each business day (except during vacation unless specified otherwise). It will be held in Court 1A Queens Square Sydney.

Appearances in the list are expected to be in-person unless you have received prior approval to appear by AVL. To apply for an AVL appearance, send an email to sc.subpoena@justice.nsw.gov.au  before noon on the day before your appearance and include the following details:

Subject line: Request to appear by AVL for [date of listing] in Return of Subpoena List

 

Body of email:

Request (legally represented):

 

request (self- represented):

 

Case number:

Case name:

Party:

Plaintiff/Defendant/Cross-Claimant/Cross-Defendant/
Applicant/Respondent

Listing date:

List Type:

Court of Appeal/Court of Criminal Appeal/Bails/ Common Law/Equity/Corporations/
Return of Subpoena

[ ] My firm is located at [insert suburb] which is more than 20km away from the Supreme Court registry
[ ] I am unwell
[ ] Other:

[ ] I reside at [insert suburb] which is more than 20km away from the Supreme Court registry
[ ] I am unwell
[ ] Other:

All active parties are
copied to this email

Yes/No

 

The registry will email confirmation of your approval to appear by AVL along with the URL you should use for the appearance.

The list is currently published as a PDF spreadsheet at the end of the daily court list which can be found on the NSW Supreme Court Website (http://www.courtlist.justice.nsw.gov.au/courtlists/nswsc_lists.nsf/Web+Version+Courtlist). The list will be called in numerical order.

Consent orders are dealt with by the Registrar in open court at the listing and not before. If urgent access is required prior to the return date, you may send an email to sc.subpoena@justice.nsw.gov.au and attentioned to the Registrar and marked Urgent. The email should include the case number, case name, a scanned copy of signed orders, reasons why the matter is urgent and should state whether all other parties to the case and the subpoena recipient consent to early access. The Registrar will then determine whether access orders will be made in chambers or if the matter will remain listed.

Access orders

Access orders and adjournment orders must be obtained from a Registrar in the Return of Subpoena list.

You must appear to seek access orders for:

  • Subpoenas issued in criminal matters.
  • Orders for production.
  • Notices to produce.
  • Productions under UCPR 33.13


For subpoenas in civil matters (excluding probate and adoptions), if proposed access orders are requested on a subpoena:

  • The form of the proposed access order should appear against a "packet number" on the daily spreadsheet.
  • No appearance is required unless the parties want to object or change the access order.
  • If there is no appearance, the proposed, otherwise known as default, access order will be made at the end of the list.
  • The default access order only applies to the packet numbers referenced in the daily court list spreadsheet that is published the afternoon before the list. Requests to access late productions and packets that do not appear on the court list need to be made in court before the Registrar and all parties need to be made aware of any access application.

Please refer to Practice Note No. SC Gen 19 for further information.

The Registrar does not deal with consent orders in chambers. All orders are made in court by a Registrar at the return date including any adjournments.


Requests to produce a file, document or thing from a Court or Tribunal


In civil matters, you should not issue a subpoena to produce on a court or tribunal. Rather requests for the production of documents or thing is governed by UCPR 33.13. The application under UCPR 33.13 may be obtained using this form (DOCX, 140.4 KB).

Once documents or thing is produced, you will receive a listing date before the Registrar in the Return of Subpoena list where access orders may be made.
 
After access orders are made the inspection procedures set out below apply.

Inspection Procedures

Where access orders have been made you may then apply to view the documents or thing produced.

Where the packet number is recorded as "electronic", you may access, view and download the documents from the online registry once the access orders are made by the Registrar and recorded in the courts case management system..

If you cannot view documents through the online registry, or a packet is recorded as "E-Filed" or the system prompts you to contact the registry, please send an email to sc.subpoena@justice.nsw.gov.au requesting a link to the documents.

If a physical packet has been produced, you will need to apply to the registry to inspect the packet. The application form may be obtained here.

Please note that appointments to inspect and access packets are twice a day at 11:00am and 2:00pm.

Alternatively, authorised copying companies may apply to access and copy the documents on your behalf. A list of current approved copier firms can be found here.

Application forms (as above) must be filled out and emailed to the Registry. Packets will then be made available within 24 hours.

If immediate or uplift access is required, you should inform the Registrar when the access order is sought so that appropriate orders can be made.

 

Return of material produced under subpoena / notice to produce

Once a matter has finalised, any produced material will either be returned or destroyed based on the information on last page of the subpoena submitted with the documents.

For any further enquires contact: sc.subpoena@justice.nsw.gov.au

 

Last updated:

04 Jan 2024

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