Civil justice in the Turks and Caicos Islands is dealt with in the first instance in the Magistrate’s Court or the Supreme Court, depending on the type of claim or the value of the claim.

The Magistrate’s Court has jurisdiction to consider claims of debt or damage due up to the value of US$10,000, disputes relating to title of land, the annual value of which does not exceed $5,000, boundary disputes and other matters contained in section 132 of the Magistrate’s Court Ordinance.

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters; appellate jurisdiction over appeals from the Magistrate’s Court and other statutory bodies; and supervisory jurisdiction over lower adjudicatory bodies and the actions of government.

Civil appeals from the Supreme Court will be heard in the Court of Appeal, and appeals from the Court of Appeal may be heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England.


Criminal cases come to court after the police decide to file a complaint in the Magistrate’s Court. The person against whom a criminal complaint is brought is called a Defendant.

All criminal matters are brought to the Magistrate’s Court in the first instance and if the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate, the Magistrate will take control of the matter or send it to the Supreme Court. More serious offences, such as murder, gun offences and rape, are considered only in the Supreme Court.

The law and evidence of criminal cases in the Magistrate’s Court are generally heard by the Magistrate alone and he/she decides whether the prosecution has made out its case against the Defendant. The Magistrate’s sentencing power is limited by section 16(5) of the Magistrate’s Court Ordinance to handing down sentences of no more than 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.

In the Supreme Court, the evidence in a matter is often, though not always, considered by a jury. The judge is in charge of considering the law in the matter and will advise the jury on the law as necessary, during the trial. The Supreme Court’s sentencing jurisdiction is unlimited.

Appeals against conviction in the Magistrate’s Court are considered by the Supreme Court and appeals against conviction in the Supreme Court are considered by the Court of Appeal.


Applications for access and custody of children are generally made to the Magistrate’s Court, as well as applications for maintenance of a spouse or children and applications for protection from domestic abuse.

The Supreme Court only may grant a divorce and divorce petitions must be filed with the Supreme Court. Matters concerning the division of matrimonial property are also dealt with by the Supreme Court.

The priority of both courts is the welfare of any child and the courts are concerned with helping applicants resolve their disputes as quickly and as sensitively as possible.

Supreme Court / Magistrate's Court Grand Turk

Pond Street,
Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

(649) 338-3972 (Supreme Court)
(649) 338-3967 (Magistrate's Court)


Supreme Court

1288 Leeward Highway,
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

(649) 338-4904


Magistrate's Court

Old Airport Road
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

(649) 338-4900
(649) 338-4202


Judiciary TCI