Fees and timeframes for subpoenas

Learn how much time you need to give us to produce the documents in your subpoena and the fees (conduct money) we charge for this service.
Fees for subpoenas are called conduct money. A subpoena is not valid until you pay the conduct money.
On this page

Conduct money is a nominal fee. It does not cover the department's cost of fulfilling subpoenas. 

Conduct money recognises that we must:

  • source the documents
  • assess each page under the relevant legislation
  • remove information that cannot be released.

Service times

It can take considerable time to produce the documents requested in a subpoena. We ask for at least ten business days' notice. 

If a subpoena requires many documents, we may ask you:

  • for more time to complete the task
  • to narrow the subpoena schedule.

We prefer to talk about the issue with your subpoena instead of opposing the subpoena because it is unfair. See how to write a subpoena.

Service times and conduct money for different courts

CourtMinimum service timeConduct money
Federal Circuit Court and Family Court (Victoria)At least 10 days$25 (minimum amount specified by legislation)
County Court of Victoria5 days$10
Children’s Court of Victoria10 business days$10
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria10 business days$10
Supreme CourtNo less than 5 business days$10
Interstate courtsVarious$55

How to pay the conduct money

Please send a cheque or money order for the required amount. The amount to pay is in the table above.

Please do not send cash in the mail. We will accept cash payments, but you must first contact the Child Protection Subpoena Unit to request a tax invoice for electronic payment. 

Post your subpoena, documents and conduct money to:

The Proper Officer
Child Protection Subpoena Unit
Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
GPO Box 4672
Melbourne VIC 3001

Contact the Child Protection Subpoena Unit

Phone: 1300 703 779
Email: childprotectionsubpoenaunit@dffh.vic.gov.au