​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Letters to courts

You may need to write to a cou​rt (or tribunal) for a number of reasons, including to:

  • ask for your case to be postponed (adjourned). Be careful as you can't ask for this by letter in​​ some types of cases or in some courts!
  • ask for your case to be heard at a different court (for example, a court closer to you). Be careful as you can't ask for this by letter in some types of cases or in some courts!
  • get a copy of a file or document
  • file a document by post.

When you write a letter to a court, you should make sure the person reading it can understand what case you are referring to, and what you want.

Hint icon For a helpful tool to use when writing a letter to a court, see Checklist: Writing letters.

All letters to court should include: ​

    ​Your add​​ress and the court's address

    When you write a letter to a court, your name and address should be at the top of the page, on the right hand side. Underneath that, on the left hand side, you should write the date and the name of the court and its address. Use a PO Box address if the court has one.

    Hint icon Always include the date you are signing/sending the letter. A date is important because:

    • it can help you prove when you sent the letter
    • a date can be used to identify the document. For example, if you call the court about your letter you can ask them if they have received your letter 'dated 10 January 2011'.

    For example:

    John Smith 
    23 West Street 
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    12 November 20XX

    The Registry
    Parramatta Local Court
    PO Box XXXXX
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    The names of the parties in the case, the court and the court case number

    When you write a letter to a court about a case that has been started, you should include a heading. The heading should state the names of the parties, the court the case is in, and the case number. It is important to give this information to help court staff identify what your letter is referring to.

    For example:

    John Smith
    23 West Street
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    12 November 20XX

    The Registry
    Parramatta Local Court
    PO Box XXXXX
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Police v John Smith, Downing Centre Local Court
    General Division, CAN number 2011/000000012

    What you are telling the court about, or asking for

    When you write to a court, you should clearly state what the letter is about. If you are:

    • asking for your case to be postponed (adjourned), state the court date you want adjourned, why you need the adjournment, and what other time period (for example, after 10 January) you would be available. Be careful as you can't ask for this by letter in some types of cases or in some courts!
    • asking for your case to be moved to a different court, the letter should explain why you need this and where you think the case should be moved. Be careful as you can't ask for this by letter in some types of cases or in some courts!
    • trying to get a copy of a file or document, the letter should clearly set out what file or document you want access to, and why.
    • filing documents by post, the letter should list each of the documents you are filing, list the number of copies (if any) of each document, and include a cheque for payment of the filing fee (if there is one).

    If you expect a reply or confirmation of receipt of documents, you should say this in the letter and tell the court your preferred contact details.

    For example:

    John Smith
    23 West Street
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    ​12 November 20XX

    The Registry
    Parramatta Local Court
    PO Box XXXXX
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Police v John Smith, Downing Centre Local Court
    General Division, CAN number 2011/000000012

    I am writing to you in relation to the above matter.

    My case is listed for mention at the Parramatta Local Court on Thursday 1 December 2011.

    I am unable to attend court on that day as I will be travelling to Victoria for work. I enclose a letter from my employer confirming this.

    I ask that the court adjourn my case. I will be back in Sydney from 8 December 2011, and I will be available on any day after that date.

    If the Court needs any further information, I can be contacted on: 0400 000 000.

    Your signature and any relevant documents

    When you have completed the letter, you can write "Yours faithfully", leave two or three spaces, write your name and then sign in between "Yours faithfully" and your name.

    If you are sending any documents, cheques or any other items, these are called 'enclosures'. You should describe what you are enclosing in the text of your letter (as in the example above). You should also add the letters "encl" underneath your name. This reminds the person receiving the letter that you sent something with it.

    For example:

    John Smith
    23 West Street
    WESTOWN NSW 2999
    ​12 November 2011

    The Registry
    Parramatta Local Court
    PO Box XXXXX
    PARRAMATTA NSW 2150

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Police v John Smith, Downing Centre Local Court
    ​General Division, CAN number 2011/000000012

    I am writing to you in relation to the above matter.

    My case is listed for mention at the Parramatta Local Court on Thursday 1 December 2011.

    I am unable to attend court on that day as I will be travelling to Victoria for work. I enclose a letter from my employer confirming this.

    I ask that the court adjourn my case. I will be back in Sydney from 8 December 2011, and I will be available on any day after that date.

    If the Court needs any further information, I can be contacted on: 0400 000 000.

    Yours faithfully, 

    J. Smith

    John Smith
    encl

    Hint icon Make sure you include a telephone number in a​ny letter you write so that the person you send the letter to can contact you if they need to. You could also include your email address, if you have one.

    Hint icon Make sure you keep a copy of the letter and a record of when you posted it. You could use registered post so that there is a record of when the person you sent the letter received it.