Communities and Justice

Submit feedback about a JP

If you are dissatisfied with the conduct of a JP and want to make a complaint, it must be made in writing to Appointment Services. Please read the guidelines below to find out more about how to lodge a complaint.

Lodging a complaint

To raise a complaint, it must:

  • be made in writing
  • include the full name and contact details of the complainant
  • identify the JP concerned, preferably by name and/or JP registration number
  • provide specific details of the nature of the complaint
  • be lodged within six months of the conduct taking place, unless the department determines exceptional circumstances exist.

We will assess a complaint before determining whether to accept or decline it.

We will generally accept complaints that raise:

  • matters concerning the eligibility of the JP to continue to hold the office, and
  • conduct relating to the role and obligations of a JP when providing JP services.

We will generally decline to consider complaints that are:

  • about a JP's personal behaviour, private dealings or professional conduct (including private legal matters) where they are unrelated to the provision of JP services, and/or
  • of a nature that may appropriately be reported to an investigatory or regulatory agency or similar authority.

Please note that we can't become involved in private legal matters or private disputes between a complainant and a JP.

The NSW Police Force is responsible for investigating alleged criminal conduct. There are a range of regulatory bodies that may investigate alleged professional misconduct. If the JP is ultimately convicted of a criminal offence or an adverse finding is made about the JP by a court, tribunal, regulatory agency, complaint handling or dispute resolution body, we may at that time review the person's appointment as a JP.

Complaints handling

We will acknowledge your complaint within three business days of receiving it. You will then be notified about whether your complaint has been accepted or declined within three weeks. Finalising a complaint generally takes longer, as we contact the relevant JP and provide them with at least three weeks to respond.

If we accept your complaint, we will likely take one of the following actions:

  1. record the complaint but determining not to take further action at the present time
  2. issue a reminder letter to the JP about correct procedure
  3. issue a warning letter to the JP that a further breach may result in the review of his or her appointment
  4. review the JP's appointment. Following a review of a person's appointment, the Attorney General may recommend to the Governor that the person be removed from office as a JP.

Please note we are unable to take any other disciplinary action against JPs. This includes compelling a person who is a JP to do or say anything in relation to their personal behaviour, private dealings or professional conduct (including private legal matters).

Usually, we won't provide details of the outcome of your complaint. This is because any disciplinary action must remain confidential. If a JP is removed from office, their details will be taken off the Public register of JPs

The department's decision about a JP complaint is final, however you can request a review of the decision if you provide new information or evidence relevant to the complaint.

If you feel that we have not handled your complaint about a JP properly, you can contact the NSW Ombudsman about our conduct. The NSW Ombudsman can investigate our conduct as a public authority (they can't investigate JPs as private individuals).

Protecting your privacy and confidentiality

While we can handle a complaint confidentially, this may limit our ability to examine or resolve your concerns. If this is the case, we will contact you to discuss the issue before taking further action.

If we accept your complaint, the principles of procedural fairness require that we provide the JP with details of the allegation and allow them the opportunity to respond before issuing a warning letter or reviewing the JP’s appointment.

Providing the JP with details of your complaint, even if we withhold your name and contact details, may still enable the JP to identify you as the complainant. For this reason, in most cases we will need your consent to pursue your complaint with the JP.

More information

For more details about lodging a complaint and complaint handling, please read the Guidelines on the appointment of JPs: handling complaints and reviewing appointments.  (PDF, 115.8 KB)

Provide feedback

Your feedback is important to us. You are welcome to contact us with a suggestion, compliment or a complaint about a NSW JP.

If you would like to make a suggestion or compliment, you can either email or write to Appointment Services.

Last updated:

31 Aug 2023