Inspection and Supply of Court Documents

As the Supreme Court is an office of records, a person may apply to inspect case files and court documents under Order 60 of the Rules of Court.

Request to Inspect

A Request to Inspect (“Request”) has to be filed to Court and is subject to the approval of the Registrar and the payment of the applicable fees.

A Request should contain a brief description of the relationship of the requestor to the relevant case file and the reasons for requiring inspection. A requestor may wish to explain their interest or connection to the case file to be inspected. The Registrar may also seek clarifications from the requestor before deciding whether to approve the Request.

Requestor(s) are advised to seek legal advice as the preparation of the Request and inspection of the case file and court documents may require an understanding of the law and legal concepts as well as compliance with certain legal procedural requirements. A directory of qualified lawyers from the Ministry of Law is available at https://www.mlaw.gov.sg. The Ministry of Law can also be contacted at 1800 2255 529.

Pre-Request Filing (Cause Book Search)

Before filing a Request, a requestor will need to know the case reference / file number ("Case File No.") to be inspected. To ascertain a Case File No, a cause book search may be conducted using the eLitigation Cause Book Search Module (https://www.elitigation.sg/_layouts/IELS/CauseBookSearch/CBSPStep11.aspx) or at the LawNet Service Bureau (https://www.elitigation.sg/_layouts/IELS/HomePage/Pages/AboutSB.aspx). Applicable search fees are payable.

For cases filed in Court prior to 2002, a requestor may also conduct a manual Cause Book Search at Level 2 of the Legal Registry. Applicable search fees are payable by NETs, cash card or credit cards at the Cashier’s counter at the Legal Registry.

Important Information:

 

Records Counter

Legal Registry at Level 2,

Supreme Court Building

 

Operating hours:

9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays

Public holidays excluded

 

Contact number: 6332 4252

Lawnet Service Bureau

Level 1

Supreme Court Building

 

Operating hours:

8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and

2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

from Mondays to Fridays

 

 Contact number: 6337 9164

Completing & filing the Request

For electronic case files

A law firm with an eLitigation account (“eLitigation subscriber”) will file the Request via eLitigation for inspection of an electronic case file. Applicable filing fees are payable.

Law firms and requestors without eLitigation accounts (“non-eLitigation subscribers”) can approach the LawNet Service Bureau to file their Request. Applicable filing fees and Service Bureau manual handling fees are payable.

Accredited media personnel should download and complete the appropriate parts of the Request form found in Annex A here. Thereafter, please attend at the Legal Registry located at Level 2 of the Supreme Court with a hard copy of the completed Request form and proper identification to seek the approval of the Registrar. With the approval of the Registrar, please proceed to file the approved Request at the LawNet Service Bureau. Applicable filing fees and Service Bureau manual handling fees are payable.

For non-electronic case files

To inspect the following non-electronic civil case files and court documents, all requestors will need to download and complete the appropriate parts of the Request form found in Annex A here. Thereafter, please attend at the Legal Registry located at Level 2 of the Supreme Court with a hard copy of the completed Request form and proper identification to file and seek the approval of the Registrar. Applicable search fees are payable -

- Bankruptcy Petitions (pre-2002)
- Companies Winding Up Petitions (pre-2002)
- Divorce Petitions (pre-1996)
- Originating Motions (pre-2002)
- Originating Petitions (pre-2002)
- Originating Summonses (pre-2001)
- Powers of Attorney (pre-2002)
- Suits (pre-2001)

Inspection after processing of the approved Request

For electronic case files

eLitigation subscribers will receive any approval for their filing of the Request via eLitigation and will conduct the inspection via eLitigation.

From 15 February 2019, a non-eLitigation subscriber who indicates that he/she wishes to conduct the inspection online and provides his/her mobile number and email address at the time of filing of an approved Request with the LawNet Service Bureau, will receive an authentication token (via SMS) and a hyperlink (via email) after his/her approved Request has been processed. He/she can then access the documents online without having to attend physically at the LawNet Service Bureau to inspect the documents.

Non-eLitigation subscribers who do not wish to inspect online will attend physically at the LawNet Service Bureau to inspect the documents.

For non-electronic case files

Upon processing and approval of the Request, the requestor will be able to view the case file and court documents at the Legal Registry.

Authorising a Representative to Inspect

A requestor may authorise a representative to make the Request and carry out the inspection for him/her subject to the Registrar’s approval.

The representative will need to produce together with the Request, an authorisation letter stating the nature of the relationship between the authorised representative and the requestor and the reason(s) for requiring inspection of the case file and court documents.

Sealing of Case Files and/ or Court Documents

To prevent inspections of case files by non-parties to case files, applications to seal the case file and / or court documents may be made according to applicable rules and procedures. Such applications will be heard by a High Court Judge who may impose conditions if an order for the sealing of the case file and / or court documents from inspection is granted.

What may be inspected?

Sealed case files and court documents are not open to inspection without an Order of Court. Please also note that the procedures set out here apply to most civil matters and inspection may not be applicable for certain case types (eg. Criminal cases and Family cases) to which these procedures do not apply or other legislation or rules are applicable.

With effect from 1 January 2015, all probate matters fall under the jurisdiction of the Family Justice Courts and requests for inspection of electronic and non-electronic probate records should be made at the Family Justice Courts.

Internal correspondence and notes taken down by Judges or Registrars at hearings for a case file are not made available for inspection. Certified Transcripts of Judges’ or Registrars’ notes and Grounds of Decisions are available on request subject to the approval of the Judge or judicial officer and upon payment of the applicable fees. Please file a Request for Certified Transcripts accordingly.

The attention of all requestors is drawn to the Honourable Justice Lee Seiu Kin's decision in Tan Chi Min v The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC [2013] SGHC 154 whereby the Court made certain pronouncements on access to case files and court documents. Certain types of documents will usually be accessible in the case file during inspection, eg. pleadings and court orders. Certain documents in the case file, for example affidavits and written submissions, may not be available for inspection until they have been used in the proceedings for which they have been filed. If you wish to find out more, the case is accessible here.

Request for Copies and Certified true copies of Court Documents

Copies of documents in Electronic Case files

Where a Certified True Copy of a court document is required, a Request for Certified True Copy will have to be filed via eLitigation. Subject to the approval of the Registrar and upon payment of the applicable fees, the Certified True Copy can be collected at the Legal Registry.

Copies of documents in Non-Electronic Case files

After inspection of the case file and court documents at the Legal Registry, a requestor requiring a copy and/or Certified True Copy of a court document may complete the Request for a Copy / Certified True Copy and submit a hard copy at the Legal Registry for approval of the Registrar. Applicable printing fees are payable.

Fees

Some of the applicable fees which may be relevant to the application for inspection are as follows.

Type of Case File

Request

Fees

Electronic

Case File Inspection

S$20

Certified True Copies

S$8
(Per Document)

S$5
(Per Page)

Non-Electronic

Manual Cause Book Search

S$20
(Per Year)

Case File Inspection

S$20

Copies Of Microfilmed Case File Without Certification

S$5
(Per Document)

S$0.15
(Per Page)

Certified True Copies

S$8
(Per Document)

S$5
(Per Page)

Enquiries

For further enquiries, please call 6557 7426 or email SUPCOURT_Registry@supcourt.gov.sg .