Support services

How court staff can help you

Court staff are available to help you with your court matter. Check the lists below to find out how they can and can't help you.

Court staff can

  • explain and answer questions about how the court works.
  • give you a list of lawyers or contact details of Legal Aid and the Law Society of Tasmania.
  • give you general information about Court rules, procedures and practices.
  • give you court schedules and information on how to get a case listed.
  • give you information from your court file.
  • give you samples of the court’s forms.
  • check your court papers to make sure they are complete, with the required signatures and supporting documents, correct case numbers, correct court location.
  • usually answer questions about court deadlines and how to work them out.
  • help you feel safe at court by contacting court security.

Court staff can not

  • change an order made/signed by a Magistrate.
  • give you legal advice.
  • tell you whether or not you can or should bring your case to court.
  • talk to the Magistrate for you.
  • tell you what words to use in your court documents.
  • tell you what to say in court.
  • give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.
  • change an order made/signed by a Magistrate.
  • explain to you why a Magistrate has made a certain decision.

Victims

Going to court can be a daunting and stressful experience, however, you should not be afraid to go to court. Support and information is available to help you throughout the legal process.

Assistance for victims

  • Have you been the victim of a violent crime?
  • Has a loved one been the victim of a violent crime?
  • Are you feeling alone or confused about where to go from here?
  • Would you simply like more information about court, legal proceedings or victims rights?
  • For peace of mind, would you like to know sentence details relating to the offender?

Victims Support Service

Victims Support Services can provide information to victims of crime about current court matters, including:

  • the date that the matter is listed in court
  • the current status of the matter
  • whether the offender has been remanded in custody or released on bail
  • details of any conditions of such bail.

Please contact Victims Support Services.

Victims of Crime Service

The Victims of Crime Service can:

  • organise one of their counsellors to go to court with you
  • provide free counselling and support
  • prepare you for testifying in court

Tasmania Police

As the victim of crime, Tasmania Police are responsible for keeping you informed about the status of a matter before the court.

Your personal information is gathered by police when investigating an incident. Tasmania Police hold all victim information such as name, address and contact details.

Police Prosecution will be able to give you the following information:

  • when the matter is listed before the court
  • whether the accused person has pleaded guilty or not guilty
  • whether you are required to attend court to give evidence
  • what the outcome of the matter is, once finalised before the court.

Once the matter is finalised by the courts and if the offender has been given a custodial sentence, you'll be invited to register on the Victims Register. This can give you updates of a prisoner's location, classification, parole and hearing dates, and possible release times.

For help with family violence matters please contact Court Support and Liaison Service.

You can find a Justice of the Peace (or JP) at most of our court buildings. Check information about your local court in our Contact us section. JPs can sign affidavit or statutory declaration for you.

Otherwise, call the Legal Aid Commission to find a JP near you.

What court staff can help with

Legal Information

For legal assistance see

Other groups

These organisations do not provide legal advice but may be helpful.

Interpreters

If you have difficulties understanding or speaking English, ask Court staff to arrange an interpreter (at no cost to you).

Interpreters will usually be in the courtroom, but they can also be used via speaker phone.

Law libraries

These libraries open to members of the public, the Law Society of Tasmania, the Department of Justice, the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court:

  • The Andrew Inglis Clark Law Library in Hobart
  • The Launceston Law Library
  • The North West Law Library in Burnie.

You can access these libraries at the Andrew Inglis Clark Law Library page.

The Department of Justice retains a working collection for Crown Law and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Courts also have their own collections for judges, magistrates and court staff to use. These collections are not open to the public, but you may arrange for material in these libraries to be borrowed and used in the Andrew Inglis Clark Law Library.

Help for people with hearing & speech impairments

The services listed below can only be used to discuss matters with Court staff — theycannot be used for hearings in Court.

Speak and Listen users

Phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 13 55 13

TTY users

Phone 133 677, then ask for 1300 13 55 13

National Relay Service

Internet relay users connect to the National Relay Service (NRS) website then ask for 1300 13 55 13

The view at the Magistrates Court from the distance.