Filing documents in the Queensland Courts

This factsheet contains information about the formal requirements of court documents in civil cases in the Magistrates, District, and Supreme Courts of Queensland.

The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (UCPR) contain a number of prescribed forms. You can find templates of these forms on the Queensland Courts website.

Court documents

Court documents are dealt with in rule 961 of the UCPR. Documents should always be on white A4 paper, and contain, on their first page, a left hand margin wide enough so that the court seal can be placed on the document when it is filed. The document must be typed in at least size 10 font.

You should always check that the court documents you prepare use the prescribed form. Make sure that you have included the footer.

Attaching documents to court documents

If you are preparing a pleading you should not attach any documents. This is because your pleading needs to contain the material facts that you are relying on. If you have a lot of information and including it all in your document would make it difficult to read, you could put it on a separate page of your document and title that as an “annexure.”

If you are preparing an affidavit (form 46) and in the course of that affidavit you refer to a document, you should complete a certificate of exhibit (form 47) to attach that document to your affidavit.

Avoid the temptation to simply include all of the documents that you are relying on as exhibits to an affidavit.

Filing court documents

When you are filing court documents, you should take an original for the court, a copy to be served on each other party, and a copy for your records. The court will keep the original and will give you back the other copies, usually after placing the court seal (a purple stamp) on those documents.

You can file documents either in person at the court registry (note that you can only file documents in the registry that your court proceedings are in, for example, if you are being sued in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, you cannot then file a defence in the District Court at Caloundra, or the Supreme Court at Townsville) or by post.

The rules allow you to file documents by posting them to the registry (rule 969). The envelope sending the documents should include a note on the outside that the envelope contains court documents. You should also include a stamped self addressed envelope so that the sealed copies of your documents can be returned to you. If you are filing documents by post you should be careful to allow enough time for the documents to be filed in line with any relevant time limits.

You cannot file any documents by email or fax in the District and Supreme Court Registry. Some documents can be filed electronically in the Magistrates Court through the Queensland Courts website, although there is a charge for doing this.

Filing fees

When you file a document you must also pay the relevant filing fee. If you don’t include the filing fee, then the registry may refuse to accept the document (rule 971). See our factsheet on Fee reductions in the Queensland Courts.