Legal Information

Welcome to this part of the website. This part has legal information. It has simple and easy information about:

  1. preparing to go to court:
  2. who works in court:
  3. what happens in court: and
  4. where to get legal information.

The information provided is not legal advice. It is only simple and basic information. If you need legal advice you will need to meet with a lawyer. The information is presented in Auslan and English.

Please remember that the information we give is only for the NSW Local Court system. Some things will be similar to the rest of Australia but some things will also be different.

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. The Foundation seeks to advance the fairness and equity of the justice system and to improve access to justice, especially for socially and economically disadvantaged people.

Disclaimer: any opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Law and Justice Foundation's Board of Governors.

Going to Court

This part is about going to court and what to expect. It explains going to court as a Witness and a Defendant.

Legal Advice

If you want free legal advice about a problem there are 4 different places you can look:

1) LawAccess
2) Legal Aid
3) Community Legal Centres
4) NSW Attorney General's Department (Lawlink)


LawAccess is a government organisation that gives information and advice on legal issues. Their website has lots of information on areas such as:

  • accidents,
  • children,
  • banking and finance,
  • housing issues, and
  • the court system.

They also have a free telephone/TTY service that gives advice, information and referrals.

TTY: 1300 889 529
Ph: 1300 888 529

Legal Aid

Legal Aid is a government organisation. They give legal advice and you can meet with a lawyer for free. They can sometimes go to court as your lawyer but you need to apply for this. They have offices all over Sydney and NSW.

Legal Aid will give you one free 20 minute appointment and they will also provide an interpreter for free. If you want to meet with a lawyer, you must make an appointment. You can call on their TTY number to make an appointment and book an interpreter. You can also call the number of the Legal Aid office you want to go to directly through the National Relay Service (NRS).

323 Castlereagh Street, Haymarket
Ph: (02) 9219 5000
Fax: (02) 9219 5935
TTY: (02) 9219 5126

If you want advice about family law there are two places you can go where you do not need an appointment: the Sydney office and the Parramatta office.

Monday – Friday
9.00 am – 4.00 pm

Monday, Wednesday and Friday
9.30 am – 12.30 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm

Community Legal Centres

Community Legal Centres are non-government community organisations that give free legal advice and take on cases that Legal Aid cannot do. You can make an appointment to meet someone face-to-face or you can call them. If you want an interpreter, you can ask when you make an appointment.

There are many Community Legal Centres in NSW. Some work on all types of law and some only work on special areas of law. Have a look at their website for more information:

If you want advice on issues related to finances, loans and credit. Contact the Consumer Credit Legal Centre:

Credit and Debt Hotline
Ph: 1800 808 488

For information on insurance, contact the Insurance Law Service:

Insurance Law Service
Ph: 1300 663 464

If you have a problem with disability discrimination, contact the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre:

Disability Discrimination Legal Centre
Ph: 1800 800 708
TTY: (02) 9310 4320
Fax: (02) 9310 7788

If you have a problem related to your housing and rental premises contact the Tenants' Union of NSW:

Tenants' Union of NSW
Ph: (02) 8117 3700 or 1800 251 101

NSW Attorney General's Department


Remember if you want more contact information for the organisations mentioned, go to the Links section and click on the website you want.

Please remember if you are having trouble finding information or getting advice, contact the Deaf Society of NSW and we can help you.

Finding a Lawyer

Do you need a lawyer? Maybe you can't use Legal Aid because you don't meet their requirements. If you are looking for a lawyer you can contact the Law Society of NSW. They can put you in contact with lawyers who have the right qualifications and expertise in the area of law that you are looking for. You will need to pay for any work the lawyer does for you.

If you can't afford a lawyer the Law Society has what is called the "pro bono scheme". This means they have a list of lawyers who will work for a lower fee and sometimes for no fee. They have rules about who can and who can't get help. If you want to find out more, contact the Law Society of NSW:

Ph: (02) 9926 0333
Fax: (02) 9231 5809

Please remember if you are having trouble finding information or getting advice, contact the Deaf Society of NSW and we can help you.

Preparing for Court

Do you need help preparing to go to court? There is a free service at many courts that can help you with court proceedings. The service is called the Chamber Service. It is located at most full time Local Courts.

The service can help you by:

giving information about legal options and court proceedings;
preparing some simple local court documents; and
filling in forms.

The service cannot:

represent you in court; or
provide legal advice.

You can visit to make an appointment or they can discuss your issues over the phone. Many Local Courts also have TTY numbers.

To find out where your nearest local court is look at this website:

Please remember if you are having trouble finding information or getting advice, contact the Deaf Society of NSW and we can help you.

Domestic Violence

If you are a woman living with domestic violence in your home, there is support for you. The Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) gives free help and support in many different centres in NSW.

The WDVCAS will:

explain how you can get legal protection;
tell you what happens in court;
go with you to court to support you;
tell you what other organisations can help you; and
organise a lawyer for you.

For advice and help call the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service Advice Line:
Domestic Violence Advocacy Service Advice Line

Ph (Sydney only): (02) 8745 6999
Ph (Rural NSW only): 1800 810 784
TTY: 1800 626 267

Web: and

Help with Divorce

Do you need help with your divorce? Legal Aid give free classes to help you manage and apply for a divorce. Usually a solicitor will do this but if you cannot afford a solicitor you can do it yourself. These classes teach you how to do it yourself. Remember that the classes only teach you about making a divorce application and do not teach anything about problems with children or property.

The 2 hour classes explain how to complete Family Court application forms and the divorce process.

Interpreters can be provided free if you ask. You also need to book into a class. To find out when and where the classes are contact:

Legal Aid

Web: and

323 Castlereagh St, Haymarket

Ph: (02) 9219 5000
Fax: (02) 9219 5935
TTY: (02) 9219 5126

When you come to the class, you must bring with you the divorce application form which you can get from the Family Law Registries. You can contact them by phone or get the forms from the Family Court website:

Family Law Registries

Ph: 1300 352 000
TTY: 1300 720 980
Fax: (02) 8892 8585

Remember if it is hard for you to find the information you want, you can contact The Deaf Society of NSW and we will help you.

Legal Words

There are many words in the legal area that are hard to understand. If you go to court or are involved in a legal process you will see or read many words that you may not understand. This page has a list of many legal words.

To find out what a word means click on the word you want and it will open up to a new page showing the meaning in Auslan and English.


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Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)


Bail Refused


Chamber Service
Civil Case
Community Service Order (CSO)
Court Attendance Notice (CAN)
Court Costs
Court Officer
Criminal Case


Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)
District Court
Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO)








High Court


Legal Aid
Local Court


Magistrate Early Referral Into Treatment program


Not Guilty




Periodic Detention (PD)




Supreme Court


Time To Pay (TTP)


Victims Compensation Levy (VCL)





Links to More Information


Court Information

Contact Information

Legal Issues