The Supreme Court is divided into criminal, civil, commercial, divorce and probate jurisdictions.
For a list of the cases to be heard in The Supreme Court, view the Supreme Court Weekly Schedule under 'Resources'. This schedule is subject to change without notice.
The Supreme Court Registry
The Supreme Court Registry is responsible for the administration of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. It is established by the Supreme Court Act 1905 and the Rules of the Supreme Court 1985.
The Registry is under the supervision of the Registrar, who is responsible for its smooth and efficient operation and for implementing the policies and procedures necessary to support its operation. The Registrar is the administrative head of the Judiciary and its accounting officer.
The Registry is vital to the functioning of the Courts and is responsible for:-
- Processing all court documents
- Maintaining the secure custody and safety of all court records
- Making relevant information available for court users
- Collecting and accounting for all fees and fines received by the Courts
- Providing support to the Justices of Appeal, Supreme Court Judges and the Registrar
- Listing cases for hearing
- Recording all events which take place during the course of a case
- Receiving and processing applications for the grant of Probate or the Administration of intestate estates
- Managing the resources required for the effective functioning of the courts
- Divorce matters including the distribution of family assets and the care and custody of children
- Vacancy for High Court Judge-Commercial Division of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- Vacancy notice for the position of High Court Judge-Commercial Division of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- Application for Appointment as High Court Judge – Commercial Division
- Guide for Referees
- Referee Assessment Form HCJ Commercial Division
- Circular No 13 of 2018 Probate Division
- Circular No 15 of 2018 Reduction of Court Services
- Panel of Assistant Judges in the Supreme Court- Civil & Commercial Jurisdiction
- Circular No. 20 of 2017 of the Supreme Court
- Circular No. 5 of 2017 Court of Appeal March 2017 sitting hearing locations
- Circular No. 2 of 2017 Special Sitting of the Supreme Court: Ceremonial Opening of Bermuda's 2017 Legal Year
- Circular No. 28 of 2016 Winter opening hours of the supreme court registries
- Circular No. 25 of 2016 Registry Operations Update and New Filing Locations and Procedures
- Circular No. 24 of 2016 Update in Relation to Registry Decontamination and Temporary Procedures
- Practice Direction 23 of 2016 Notice of Pending Mold Decontamination Process and Temporary Procedures
- Practice Direction 22 of 2016 Notice of Toxic Mold and Relocation of Supreme Court
Access to Court Records
This Circular provides further guidance on Amended Practice Direction No. 23 of 2015 for the benefit of persons seeking to access court files at the Registry of the Supreme Court. This circular applies to files in the Court's civil, criminal and divorce jurisdictions.
Serious criminal offences or indictable offences, are tried in the Supreme Court. The most common examples are serious assault, murder and money laundering.
Most criminal matters start in the Magistrates' Court where the Magistrate will not require a plea and commit the matter to the Supreme Court for trial on indictment. Once the matter has been assigned to the Supreme Court, defendants will be scheduled to appear at an assigned Arraignment Session to enter a plea and receive a hearing date.
By way of Practice Direction issued under Circular 3 of 2017, the Registrar has implemented the following forms which shall be used to efficiently case manage a trial from start to finish:
- FORM 1 - Prosecution Disclosure Notice.pdf
- FORM 1 - Guidance Notes
- FORM 2 - Defence Pre-arraignment Notice
- FORM 2 - Guidance Notes
- FORM 3 - Defence Statement
- FORM 3 - Guidance Notes
- FORM 4 - Defence Statement Trial Timetable
- FORM 5 - Prosecution Statement Trial Timetable
- FORM 4 & 5 - Guidance Notes
- Circular No. 3 of 2017 - Guidance Notes and Case Management Forms.pdf
Trials are heard in one of the five Supreme Court courtrooms before a single Judge and begins with jury selection. The jury will deliver a verdict after all evidence is heard by counsel appearing for the Prosecution and Defendant(s).
Sentencing occurs after the trial at a date determined by the Registrar.
The Supreme Court probates wills and appoints representatives to administer the estates of deceased persons who did not leave a will. Learn how to handle an estate when someone dies
Matrimonial and Family Cases
Matrimonial and Family cases are heard in the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building (DLBE) in Courtroom 3 on the fourth floor, or in the Judge’s Chambers on the third floor. Court is usually scheduled on the last Friday of the month. The schedule is subject to change and you should confirm Divorce Court hearings by viewing the Supreme Court Weekly Schedule.
How do I file for a divorce?
If you do not have a lawyer and wish to seek guidance on filing documents, view the Matrimonial Causes Rules. This is where you will find rules for drafting divorce documents.
Guidance on travel for children of a matrimonial matter
If you’re involved in a matrimonial matter, you must file an Application to Allow Children of Marriage out of the Jurisdiction to allow your children to travel. To waive travel restrictions, you must file a Consent Order with $15 in revenue stamps attached. Revenue stamps can be purchased on the first floor of the Government Administration Building.
If there has been an agreement to stop child support payments, you must file a Consent Order with $15 in revenue stamps attached. This only applies if you have a matrimonial matter already filed with the Supreme Court.
For help in getting a paternity test to apply for child maintenance or visitation rights, you must file a Declaration of Parentage with $70 in revenue stamps attached. If you’re not married, you will be directed back to the Magistrates’ Court to finalize child maintenance.
These forms are for guidance and you can re-create them in a typed format to include all required information. Most documents will require revenue stamps upon filing at the Supreme Court Registry (purchase them at the Government Administration building on the first floor) .
For more information about fees, view the Rules of the Supreme Court or contact (441) 292-1350.
Commercial, Business and Civil Cases
Civil and Commercial cases are heard in the Commercial Courts, located in the Government Administration Building on the 2nd floor.
Civil cases include matters where the dispute exceeds $25,000, establishing receiverships for mental health persons and other family related issues. These matters are often heard in Chambers, in the privacy of the parties and the Judge however, if heard in Court, the matter is open to the public.
Appeals from the Magistrates' Court
To dispute a Judgment or Ruling made in the Magistrates’ Court you must file a Notice of Appeal and a copy, at the Supreme Court Registry within 10 days of the Judgment. After filing at the Registry, you must take the copy of the Notice to the Magistrates’ Court where the Court Record will be prepared and sent to the Supreme Court. Parties will be notified when a date has been scheduled for the appeal to be heard before a single Judge.
If you are unrepresented and have supporting documentation to assist your claim, you can attach the documents to the original Notice of Appeal upon filing at the Registry.
For further information view Guidelines for Preperation of Appeals
If you have lodged an appeal and no longer wish to pursue it, please file a Notice of Abandonment of Appeal