This Court is the primary court for many civil and criminal cases. Magistrates are appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission. This court is presided over by Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrates, including the Chief Magistrate and two Deputy Chief Magistrates. At some times the Magistrates from New Providence also go on circuit to the other Islands where there is no resident Magistrate or in cases where the resident magistrate is unable, for whatever reason, to hear a case.
The Magistrates' Court has several functions, depending on whether your case involves a civil or a criminal matter.
There are seventeen (17) Magistrates Courts in The Bahamas: fourteen (14) in New Providence; two (2) in Freeport, Grand Bahama; and one (1) in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama. Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrates must have been members of the English, Irish, Scottish or Bahamian Bar and have practised for at least five (5) years. The Governor-General acting on the advice of the Judicial Legal Service Commission appoints the Chief Magistrate and two Deputy Chief Magistrates. Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrates are ex officio Magistrates for The Bahamas.