Magistrate’s Courts in Fiji are established by the Magistrates Court Act (Chapter 14)]. It is the Court of first instance and most civil and criminal cases are first heard in the Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate’s Courts handle Civil, Criminal, Traffic, Inquest and Juvenile cases. Recently the Courts have also expanded their services to process applications for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. In some districts, the Magistrate’s Courts also handle Family cases in the general Registry with one staff member being designated as the Family Court clerk. In Civil proceedings a Magistrate Court has jurisdiction to hear all Contract of Tort claims where the amount claimed does not exceed $50,000 and proceedings between Landlord and Tenant where the annual rent of property does not exceed $5000. In the exercise of their criminal jurisdiction, Magistrates’ Courts have the powers and jurisdiction conferred on them by the Crimes Decree and Criminal Procedure Decree, the two Principal legislations.
This division extends from Navua to Tailevu and includes the islands of the Central/Eastern Division. There is one Senior Court officer [overall in charge Fiji] based at government buildings Suva and all the courts have court officers as managers of district courts. There are 12centres and 20 courts and one dedicated Juvenile Court in the CENTRAL/EASTERN Division.
Resident Magistrates based in Nausori travel to Vunidawa and Tailevu once a week and Levuka for a week in a month. Suva based Resident Magistrates travel to Taveuni Lau/Lomaiviti, Rotuma, Kadavu and Taveuni as per court sitting calendar.
This division extends from Sigatoka to Rakiraki town. Cases from the Yasawa and Mamanuca group of islands are all heard in Lautoka. There is one Senior Court officer looking after the Western Division based at Lautoka and all the other courts have Court Officers as managers of district courts. In the Western Division there are 7 centers and 11 courts.
- Lautoka 3
- Nadi 2
- Ba 2
- Tavua 1
- Rakiraki 1
- Sigatoka 1
- Keyasi 1
The Keyasi Court sits once per month and is administrated by the Sigatoka Magistrate’s Court Registry and the Sigatoka Resident Magistrate.
Under the administration of the Deputy Registrar Northern the Senior Court officer is overall in charge of Magistrate Court based in Labasa. In the Northern Division there are 3 centers and 5 courts. The Labasa Court Registry and The Resident Magistrate administrate the two outer centers Nabouwalu and Savusavu.