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NSW Local Courts


There are 157 local courts throughout NSW and they have the power to hear cases in civil, criminal and family law. These courts serve as an entry point to the court system in all criminal and some civil matters.

Local Court decisions are made by Magistrates (and not judges) without a jury. The maximum jail sentence that a magistrate can impose is usually 2 years.

What does this court do?

The Local Court hears:

  • Small civil claims where the amount claimed is up to $10,000. 

  • Civil claims where the amount claimed is up to $60,000 or if the parties agree up to $72,000. 

  • Summary offences- these are common offences such as assault, stealing and possession of drugs. 

  • Some indictable offences. These are more serious offences such as assault occasioning actual bodily harm and drug dealing. 

  • Committal hearings for other indictable offences. 

Who can appear?

All the people involved in the disputes can appear at the Local Court. Namely people in civil claims, criminal law breaches, meaning people who are charged and prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions, people seeking Apprehended Violence Orders, and neighbourhood disputes etc.

Court Location

As stated above, the state of NSW has 157 local courts based in suburbs, towns and country towns.

Our dedicated team can assist you with queries relating to matters involving the Local Courts of New South Wales. Complete and submit the Express Enquiry form on the top right hand side of this page and we will contact you to discuss your enquiry, or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange an appointment.