The Magistrates Court has a responsibility to protect judiciary, staff, and court users.  The Magistrates Court has a high volume of traffic in court buildings and many people attending court are particularly vulnerable members of our community who are unvaccinated or may have been at an exposure site. This puts the judiciary, staff and court users at risk of coming into contact with a COVID-19 case.

These restrictions will be reviewed as required.

Note:  Where reference to AVL is made in this document, please note that the use of AVL is dependent on the availability of the technology and may not be available at all locations. 


  • Sheriff’s Officers ask a list of predetermined questions to all court users at Point of Entry.
  • Masks are available for court users.
  • Hand Sanitiser is provided at Point of Entry, lifts and in courtrooms.
  • COVID signage is posted to support social distancing.
  • Important COVID-19 information is posted on the CourtSA website. 

If you enter a court building, you should:

  • Adhere to all social distancing guidelines and signage around the building, and
  • Minimise unavoidable close proximity to others.

Parties are required to bring their own water as water jugs will not be provided in courtrooms.

Hand sanitiser will be provided at the following locations in every courtroom:

  • Bench
  • Judicial Support Table
  • Bar Table
  • Witness Box
  • Sheriff’s Officer table 


The wearing of masks is strongly encouraged in court buildings where 1.5m distancing cannot be achieved and subject to the direction of a Magistrate in courtrooms.

You should not come to Court if you:

  • have a confirmed case of COVID-19, or
  • have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results, or
  • are required to isolate or quarantine by SA Health, or
  • are experiencing symptoms – a fever or chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, feeling fatigued or tired, loss of taste or smell, runny or blocked nose (with no alternative illness that explains these symptoms),

If a party or practitioner has a condition that makes them vulnerable to infection and for that reason does not feel safe attending at the Court, they should advise the registry no later than 2 business days prior to the day of the hearing, provide a direct contact phone number and seek leave of the Court to appear at the hearing by phone. 

Paper handling

It is the expectation of the Court that all documents will be lodged electronically but it is in the discretion of the magistrate as to whether they will be received in paper.

Where possible, parties should lodge documents via CourtSA

Where it is not possible to use CourtSA, documents should be filed in the approved form by email or post (addresses provided at the end of this document).

All emailed documents should be signed and lodged in PDF format. Documents too large for email should be posted or lodged in a registry filing box located in a Magistrates Court building.

Communication with the Court is required to be via the CourtSA website (Portal) or email to the relevant court.

Parties and practitioners are reminded of the requirement that all parties must be copied into any email communication with the Court.


The Court Volunteer Service is operating.

The Justice of the Peace Service is operating.

School visits are operating in a restricted capacity from June 2022.

External bookings for court facilities will be considered on a case by case basis. 



Listings and trials are continuing as scheduled.

The court asks to be notified of any parties who are at high risk of serious illness should they be exposed to COVID-19 and will give priority to those matters where possible.

For overnight arrest matters:

  • Prosecution is to provide an Information with an apprehension report attached so that defence can obtain instructions quickly, and
  • All defendants will appear by AVL.

Defendants in custody will appear by AVL or telephone, except for trials, Treatment Intervention Court, Nunga Court and Aboriginal Community Courts where appropriate.

Parties are also encouraged to put together an agreed statement of facts when a matter is to be called on for a plea where possible.

Circuits will continue but may be conducted by AVL. Court users should check the CourtSA website before attending.

Modification of Criminal Court Practices

Prosecution and defence are encouraged to negotiate and disclose as much as possible, to attempt to reach an early resolution of matters.

The court will attempt to enable section 22 conferences where possible. A courtroom may be used to allow for social distancing.

Trials that are unable to proceed due to reasons related to COVID-19 restrictions will be adjourned. Where trials can proceed prosecution and defence are to appear in person.

Reports, references and written submissions must be tendered to the Court electronically no later than 2 business days prior to the day of the hearing. 

Requests to appear by AVL or Telephone

Prosecution will appear in person in CBD and metropolitan courts.  Prosecution may appear by AVL in general lists in country courts with the exception of Port Augusta, Whyalla, Mount Gambier and Berri where they will be expected to appear in person.

Requests by a solicitor for permission to appear by AVL or telephone will be at the discretion of the individual magistrate.  If the matter is to involve submissions, the magistrate may be more inclined to allow permission if written submissions have been delivered to the registry mailbox beforehand.

Applications to appear by AVL or telephone are to be submitted by email to Registry or the chambers mailbox no later than two business days prior to the day of the hearing.  Registry will advise the solicitor of the outcome of the request no later than the day before the hearing.

When submitting a request to appear by telephone the practitioner must:

  • provide a direct landline or mobile telephone number,
  • ensure that he/she is available to answer the telephone,
  • understand that the telephone call may be made at any time during the relevant list,
  • understand that if the telephone call is not answered, the matter will be dealt with in a manner that the relevant magistrate deems appropriate,
  • understand that it is up to the practitioner to inform themselves of the outcome.
  • AVL is limited to 3 lines for connection.

Practitioners are discouraged from asking to use the AVL facilities of a court to appear by AVL in matters in another court.

WebEx may be used to facilitate some hearings. When used, the court registry will email a meeting request to parties. Parties join the hearing by clicking on the button in the email if they have a device with a camera. Alternatively, they can join by telephone using the details provided in the email. It is important that solicitors ensure they make themselves available from the appointed time, bearing in mind that the court may not always call at that exact time. 

Major Indictable Matters 

The ODPP and MIBU (police prosecution) appear in person.

A request to adjourn a major indictable matter without attendance of counsel is at the discretion of the magistrate and will require confirmation of the consent of MIBU (police prosecution) or the ODPP and must include the reasons for the adjournment.

Practitioners are to email the court confirming the consent of prosecution and providing reasons for the adjournment no later than 2 business days prior to the day of hearing.

Permission is at the discretion of the individual magistrate.  If the request is granted, the solicitor will be advised of the new date by registry.

The court will allow pleas to be entered through counsel in the absence of the defendant, provided a copy of the relevant Information with the following endorsement signed by the defendant is delivered by email to the court and the ODPP no later than 2 business days prior to the day of the hearing.

‘I, (name of defendant), plead guilty/not guilty to the within charges. Signature. Date’. Practitioners are able to appear remotely at the discretion of the Court and where they have provided the necessary details. 



Requests for consent adjournments

Parties and practitioners are encouraged to seek consent orders, if appropriate, which can be made administratively without the need for attendance. Parties and practitioners should send in draft consent orders by email. Emails for consent orders are to be received no later than 2 business days prior to the day of the hearing and includes evidence of the consent of all parties.

Requests for telephone appearances

To be received no later than 2 business days prior to the day of the hearing and include:

  • a direct landline or mobile telephone number,
  • ensure that he/she is available to answer the telephone,
  • understand that the telephone call may be made at any time during the relevant list,
  • understand that if the telephone call is not answered, the matter will be dealt with in a manner that the relevant magistrate deems appropriate,
  • understand that it is up to the party or practitioner to inform themselves of the outcome.

Hearings and Trials in All Actions

Hearings includes directions hearings, applications listed for argument, drivers licence appeals, Registrars Investigation and Examination Summons hearings and enforcement lists.

Subject to the Attendance at Court directives, parties and/or practitioners are to appear in person at Court unless they are granted leave to appear via phone due to one of the reasons listed under Attendance at Court directives at the beginning of this document or at the discretion of the Magistrate.


Magistrates Court mediations will be conducted in person where social distancing can be achieved and masks are worn. Alternatively, they may be conducted by phone, AVL or WebEx.

For Mention Only Dates

If a party wishes to be heard on a ‘for mention only’ date they are to advise the Registry no later than 2 business days prior to the day of the hearing and provide consent orders or, where there is no consent, they are to appear in person or seek permission to appear by phone.

In the absence of this advice the action will be determined administratively and may be dismissed.



CourtSA website (Portal): 

Phone Number:                            (08) 8204 2444

Registry Email Addresses:



Christies Beach                    


Mount Gambier                   

Murray Bridge                      

Port Adelaide                        

Port Augusta                         

Port Lincoln                           

Port Pirie                                



Registry Postal Addresses:

Adelaide                                           PO Box 6115, Halifax Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000

Berri                                                  PO Box 235, Berri, SA, 5343

Christies Beach                              PO Box 5, Lonsdale, SA, 5160

Elizabeth                                          PO Box 160, Elizabeth, SA, 5112

Mount Gambier                             PO Box 723, Mount Gambier, SA, 5290

Murray Bridge                                PO Box 420, Murray Bridge, SA, 5253

Port Adelaide                                  PO Box 3215, Port Adelaide, SA, 5015

Port Augusta                                   PO Box 45, Port Augusta, SA, 5700

Port Lincoln                                     PO Box 266, Port Lincoln, SA, 5606

Port Pirie                                          PO Box 583, Port Pirie, SA, 5540

Whyalla                                            PO Box 694, Whyalla, SA, 5600​



1 June 2022