Witnesses who have been served with a summons or subpoena requiring them to go to court to give evidence can make a claim to help pay for the cost of going to court.
You can make a claim for a range of expenses, including:
There are different rules depending on which court you have been to.
If you have been to the Magistrates’ Court, the police informant will give you a Witness Expense Form. Complete your form then give it to the police informant who will arrange for the magistrate to sign it. You should then take the form to the cashier’s office at the Magistrates’ Court to receive your payment.
If you have been to the County Court or the Supreme Court, you should have received a Witness Expense Claim Form with your subpoena. Complete the form and then give it to the OPP solicitor or police informant.
If you have not received a form, please click here:
If you are claiming lost wages your employer will also need to sign your form or you will need to sign a statutory declaration stating that you have lost wages as a result of having to attend court.
Payment is made by direct credit to a nominated bank account, in most cases.
Completed forms should be taken or posted to:
Office of Public Prosecutions
565 Lonsdale Street
Victims of crime may be entitled to compensation and financial assistance. In cases of violent crime, you can apply to the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT).
VOCAT assistance may be available for offences such as:
which have directly resulted in injury (including mental illness) or death.
Payments of financial assistance or compensation may be made for:
Compensation is not available for property loss or damage.
Generally, you must apply to VOCAT within two years of the act of violence occurring but sometimes exceptions are granted. You may have extra time to apply to VOCAT if you were a child at the time of the offending.
For more information, please download the Financial Assistance Brochure. You can also find more information on the VOCAT website.Download Financial Assistance Brochure.
In certain circumstances you may be able to apply for compensation from the offender, through the sentencing court, after they are found guilty.
You have the right to take civil action for compensation against the offender whether or not they are found guilty. This is a separate legal process.
The OPP does not act on behalf of victims in these matters..
Both options involve complex legal processes. Important questions to consider are:
The following organisations can provide you with information about your right to financial assistance and compensation.
Federation of Community Legal Centres – the Federation can give you details of your local Community Legal Centre which provides free legal advice to the public.
Law Institute Referral Service – the ‘Find Your Lawyer Referral Service’ gives you access to 30 minutes free legal advice from a local legal firm.