There are three ways for getting automatic access to court records if you are not part of the proceedings:
- When a case is no longer pending or active because it is finished, you can apply to the Registry for copies of documents;
- When a case is pending, you can apply to the Registry for copies of any originating process (e.g. a writ, petition or originating summons) or orders made in the case; and
- When reference is made in the course of a public hearing or in a public judgment to any documents on the court file, you have a common law right to apply for copies of the relevant document(s).
The current fees are: $10.00 (Praecipe) + $25 (Search Fee) + 50 cents per photocopied page.
Automatic access to documents in current or pending cases is only available in relation to cases filed on or after 1 December 2015, but not retrospectively.
Automatic access is also not available in the following instances on privacy grounds:
- any case where by Order of the Court, public access to such documents has been restricted by a file sealing order;
- divorce proceedings and any other proceedings related to children;
- applications in relation to arbitration proceedings;
- all proceedings in relation to the administration of trusts;
- cases relating to the administration of the estates of deceased persons;
- any other category of case which may be identified from time to time by way of Circular by the Registrar.
Can I obtain access to documents which are not automatically available?
It is possible to apply to the Registrar for permission to view and/or obtain copies of documents not automatically available. The Registrar will consult the parties to the case in question, and then exercise the Court’s discretion.
If the Registrar refuses to allow me access to a document, can this decision be challenged?
A decision by the Registrar can be appealed to a Judge of the Supreme Court. The Judge’s decision is subject to a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal for Bermuda.
How to make a request
You can request documents from the Registry between the hours of 9.00am and 12.30pm on Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.