Kirkwall Sheriff Court

Kirkwall Sheriff Court is closed to all but key staff and judiciary at this time, however, staff are monitoring phones and emails between 9.30am and 12.30pm and 2pm and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Important arrangements during the Coronavirus outbreak

This court is open for business, but please note the following arrangements at this time.

This court is only open to staff, judiciary, those with permanent office accommodation, media or parties who are directly involved in cases being heard in the building and who have been requested to attend at court.

Where court cases require personal appearance, intimation will have been made to parties in advance of the court date.

There is no public counter and members of the public will not be permitted to enter, unless requested by the court.

Fines can be paid online and by phone. See Fines Payment for latest information.

Hub Courts for new, first instance custodies

New, first instance custody cases will continue to be heard in hub courts as first instance cases in each Sheriffdom as follows. Thereafter, if a further substantive hearing is assigned this will be to the court of local jurisdiction.

Glasgow and Strathkelvin

Glasgow Sheriff and JP Court

Lothian and Borders

Lothian and Borders no longer operates the Hub court system. All business, including first instance custody cases, has returned to local courts.

Edinburgh Sheriff and JP Court
Livingston Sheriff and JP Court
Jedburgh Sheriff and JP Court
Selkirk Sheriff and JP Court

Tayside, Central and Fife

Dundee  Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Forfar and Perth)
Falkirk Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Stirling and Alloa)
Kirkcaldy Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Dunfermline)

Grampian, Highland and Islands

Inverness Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Elgin, Fort William, Portree, Tain and Wick. Island custody courts will be dealt with on a case by case basis)
Aberdeen Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Peterhead and Banff)

North Strathclyde

Paisley Sheriff and JP Court
Kilmarnock Sheriff and JP Court 
Greenock Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Dunoon)
Dumbarton Sheriff Court and JP Court (business transferring from Oban and Campbeltown)

South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway

Ayr Sheriff Court and JP Court
Hamilton Sheriff Court and JP Court 
Dumfries Sherrif Court and JP Court (business transferring from Stranraer)
Airdrie Sheriff Court and JP Court (business transferring from Lanark)

Sheriffdom orders during Coronavirus

The following Sheriffdom guidance, information and practice notes apply to this court.

Please also refer to the Rules and Practice section of the website.
FileTypeSizeUploaded onDownload
Custody Order PDF70.68 KB04 Aug, 2020 Download
Order Transfer Proceedings No 3PDF182.37 KB30 Jun, 2020 Download
Electronic submission of documents Civil No 4 of 2020PDF104.73 KB26 Jun, 2020 Download
Electronic submission of documentsPDF195.62 KB19 Jun, 2020 Download
Guidance Civil No 2PDF244.24 KB19 Jun, 2020 Download
Guidance Summary Business No 2PDF182.91 KB11 Jun, 2020 Download
Order for Criminal Business GHIPDF89.85 KB20 Apr, 2020 Download
Order Transfer of Proceedings SP Pyle No2PDF93.16 KB01 Apr, 2020 Download
Order Transfer of Proceedings SP Pyle No 1PDF96.17 KB01 Apr, 2020 Download
Civil Guidance GHIPDF117.55 KB01 Apr, 2020 Download
Guidance Summary Business GHIPDF71.80 KB01 Apr, 2020 Download

Kirkwall Sheriff Court was opened on 27 August 1877. The building was designed by David Bryce, one of Scotland's most important Victorian architects. The courthouse sits between the Historic Scotland sites of the Earls and Bishops Palaces. The building has one courtroom and sheriff chambers as well as office accommodation for the Sheriff clerk depute and the Procurator Fiscal Service.

Kirkwall Sheriff Court covers the whole of the Orkney Islands area.

Visiting Kirkwall Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court - Word version
Visiting Kirkwall Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court - PDF version


Kirkwall Sheriff Court © Crown copyright

Contact Details

Postal address

Sheriff Court House,
KW15 1PD


Main telephone

01856 872110

Sheriff Clerk / Main contact

Laura Beth Macvie (Depute)

All commissary work carried out


DX   557986 Kirkwall

Jury helpline

01856 872110 is available from 17.00 the day prior to a sitting

Accessibility contact

If you want to contact us using text relay please follow the guidance at this link -  the Next Generation Text Service

If you require the support of an interpreter when you contact a court (by phone or attend in person), a telephone interpretation service is available.  To access this service ask for telephone interpreting and the language required. This service is NOT available during actual court proceedings.

If you use British Sign Language (BSL) and wish to phone us using a sign language interpreter, you can use the online video relay interpreting service. For more information see the contactSCOTLAND website.


The sheriff court is in the centre of town and public transport is available. Use the journey planner for public transportation information.

On Arrival

On arrival please enter the sheriff clerk's public office, first door on the left. If you are attending for jury duty please come to the public office.

Wheelchair users can access the building via a ramp to the main entrance.

If you have any specific access requirements please contact: Laura Beth Macvie, Sheriff Clerk Depute.

Languageline facilities are available for anyone who requires the support of an interpreter.


There are a number of local cafes and restaurants near to the court building.

If you are sitting on a jury, lunch and refreshments will be provided for you if the court sits into the afternoon.

A loop induction service is available in all courtrooms for people who have hearing difficulties. Please contact the court if you require to use this facility.

Pay a Fine

Pay a fine online or you can make a fine payment at the counter of the public office.

Payment Methods: Cash, Debit Card, Credit Card, Cheque or Postal Order. Please do not send cash through the post.

Please make cheques and postal orders payable to "Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service". Send by post to: Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Central Processing Unit, PO Box 23, Glasgow, G5 9DA

Opening Times

Monday to Thursday 09:00 - 16:30 
Friday 09:00 - 16:00

The office closes for lunch between 13:00 - 14:00 

The court sits 7 days a month.


Week 1 – Tuesday Civil; Wednesday Crime

Week 2 – No Court Scheduled

Week 3 – Monday Trials; Tuesday Civil; Wednesday Crime; Thursday Trials; Friday Proofs/Trials (business need dependent)

Week 4 – No Court Scheduled


Court hours 09:00 - 13:00 
24. 27, 30, 31 December 
3 January 

Public Holidays

January 1, 2

April 10, 13

May 8

June 1

August 3

September 28

November 30

December 25, 28


Please refer to the complaints and feedback page.

Useful Links



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