Serving legal documents

The Office of the Sheriff can serve most documents issued by a court or tribunal in New South Wales, other Australian states or territories, and some overseas countries.

If you need to serve a legal document, check whether your local sheriff's office can assist. Find the local sheriff's office for your area on our distribution list (PDF , 201.1 KB) or download the excel version (Document , 184.2 KB).

Payment for service of legal documents

There is a fee for service of documents and enforcement by the Office of the Sheriff. For more information see Office of the Sheriff forms and fees.

Types of documents served

Civil documents

  • Statement of claim
  • Garnishee order
  • Examination summons

Family law applications

  • Application for dissolution of marriage
  • Application for maintenance
  • Application for child access
  • Other family law applications or documents 


  • Subpoena to appear before a court
  • Subpoena to produce documents to a court

Warrant of apprehension or arrest

  • Warrant of possession (issued by the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal to give possession of premises to a landlord)
  • Production of documents
  • Recovery of money


  • Writ for levy of property (seizure of a persons assets):
  • Writ of possession (issued by the Supreme Court to give possession of premises to a creditor)
  • Writ of specific delivery (to recover specific property)
  • Writ in Rem (arrest of a ship or cargo).

Documents issued by other Australian states or territories

The Office of the Sheriff of New South Wales can serve most documents issued by courts and tribunals in other Australian states and territories (interstate documents). If you have a document for service issued from another state, you should discuss what options are available with the court that issued the document.

Documents to be served in other Australian states or territories

If you wish to have a legal document served elsewhere in Australia, contact the relevant state or territory sheriff's office for advice and fees.

Documents issued from overseas countries. 

The Department of Justice has certain agreements in place with other countries for serving their documents. Enquiries regarding these agreements or about service of court documents issued from overseas, should be directed to the Legal Services Branch.

Last updated:

14 Sep 2020

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