All cases in Magistrates’ Court are heard by a Magistrate sitting alone, except in the Family Court, where the Magistrate sits with two lay members chosen from a special panel.
The Magistrates’ Court is where Small Claims Court is held. Small Claims Procedures Cases are settled here when the disputed amount is less than $25,000.
Appeals from Magistrates’ Court judgments are heard by the Supreme Court.
The Magistrates' Court Weekly Schedule shows the name of the case, the assigned Magistrate and the courtroom. The schedule is published for guidance only, and is subject to correction and change without notice.
The Magistrates’ Court consists of:
- Traffic Court
- Drug Treatment Court
- Family Court
- Plea Court
The Magistrates’ Court sits as a Traffic Court twice weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays). If you have a parking ticket, you can take it to the Cashier’s Office for payment prior to the court date. If you do not have the physical ticket, you can either visit the Traffic Section on the Third Floor of the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building during working hours, or the Court Liaison Unit (CLU) on the Ground Floor of the same building.
For more information or enquiries regarding Traffic Court, call 295-5151 extension 1119.
Drug Treatment Court (DTC)
The Drug Treatment Court (DTC) oversees the rehabilitation of drug users.
There is also a Mental Health Court (MHC) that is currently in the pilot phase. The goal is to increase the likelihood of individuals accessing, engaging and sustaining their treatment programs.
This court is responsible for the collection of child support and spousal maintenance under court orders. An application to the Family Court may concern paternity, maintenance, access, custody or care and control.
If you want to make an original application to the Family Court, you must first have an interview with a Family Court official. You will then be given a hearing date which may take up to one to three months to list the case. A private process server is used at your expense. The summons will state your topic of concern and the court hearing date and time.
For applications or more detailed information on Family Court matters, please contact the Family Support Help Desk at 295-5151 Ext. 1723.
Domestic Violence Orders (Protection Orders)
Domestic Violence Orders (DVO’s)/ Protection Orders are served personally on the individual concerned and are given priority. It is important that all applications of this nature are completed in its entirety to ensure that it can be served by the Bailiff.
For more information on Domestic Violence/Protection Orders, please contact the Family Support Officer at 295-5151 ext. 1239 or the Enforcement Officer at 295-5151 ext. 1282. If you are not represented by a lawyer, you can consult with The Women’s Resource Center (295-3882) for assistance.
Appointment as Justice of the Peace (JP)
The Governor may appoint individuals to be Justices of the Peace in and for Bermuda. This happens occasionally at the Governor’s discretion and a notice is published in the Gazette. The Justices of the Peace have no jurisdiction to try cases, although they can issue certain warrants, and perform other ancillary functions.
For more information on how to become a Justice of the Peace, please refer to Magistrates’ Act 1948.
The Senior Magistrate is also the Senior Coroner. It is the duty of Coroners to investigate sudden or unnatural deaths, as well as deaths occurring in a prison or a hospital, and to hold an inquest where necessary.
For more information on Coroners Reports, call 295-5151 Ext. 1230.
Landlord and Tenant Matters
When a court has ordered a tenant or other person to vacate a property, and they fail to leave by the date ordered, you can apply to the Court to evict them. You must apply through the Civil Section for an Eviction. In the Supreme Court, you must apply by ex parte summons for permission to issue a Writ of Possession. An Eviction Warrant or Writ of Possession will be enforced by a Bailiff.
For more information on the process of evicting a tenant, please contact the Civil Section of the Magistrates’ Court at 295-5151 Extensions 1225, 1592 or 4596.
Requirements for Sureties
In order for you to be eligible to sign as a Surety you must:
- not have a criminal conviction or have outstanding fines;
- be at least 25 years old;
- provide valid identification;
- produce documentation to the value of the ordered bail i.e. car insurance, a current bank statement and/or deeds.
The intended surety’s name must match the documentation provided.
For more information on the requirements for Sureties, call 295-5151 Extensions 1729, 1197 or 1199.
All Bailiff Services are scheduled in the order in which the cases are received, with the exception of expedited Domestic Violence Orders which take top priority. Otherwise, no request for priority of an execution will be considered.
The Bailiffs are responsible for serving court process, for which they charge a fee. They also enforce the judgments of all the courts, and in doing so may seize the goods and property of a judgment debtor and sell it by public auction.
Bailiff Fees for Services range from $20.00 to $30.00 not inclusive of Court Fees. View the Schedule of Fees for more information on Bailiff Fees.
Serving Summonses and Legal Documents
The Magistrates’ Court serves summonses or legal documents on the parties to the litigation and their witnesses can be done by post, but in most cases it requires personal service.
Enforcing Money Judgments
Money judgments from cases in the Magistrates’ Court can be enforced by execution against the debtor’s property or, in an appropriate case, by committal to prison.
In order to enforce money judgments, Bailiffs may:
- seize the debtor’s property, including land and buildings;
- sell that property by public auction to pay the judgment debt plus the cost of execution;
- arrest judgment debtors and bring them before a Court;
- execute warrants committing judgment debtors to prison for non-payment.
The Cashiers’ Office collects payment for the Court for Family Support matters, Civil Court judgments, Parking, Traffic, Criminal Fines as well as Liquor Licences and miscellaneous payments (including legal aid fees, paper copies, and criminal record requests).
Payment can be made in most circumstances by cash, cheque or Credit (Visa and MasterCard) and Debit Card. However, cash is required in full for payments on Committal Warrants and Summary Jurisdiction Apprehension (SJA) Warrants. Credit and Debit Cards are currently not accepted for Family Support Payments.
Payments cannot be made online for Civil, Parking, Traffic, and Criminal matters at this time. However, you can make an electronic payment for Family Support case, provided you know the case number and are a Butterfield Bank online customer.
The Cashiers’ Office is open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. The office is located on the second floor of the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building, 58 Court Street, Hamilton HM 12.
For more information on the Cashier’s Office, please contact the Accounts Officer at 295-5151 ext. 1119.
To find out how to apply for a liquor or betting licence, you need to visit Bermudalaws.com
The Magistrates’ Court is located in the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building, 58 Court Street, City of Hamilton HM 12. The Civil, Criminal and Traffic cases are held on the Second Floor and the Family Court cases are held on the Third Floor.