Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Career Opportunities
Job Postings
Legal Clinics
Media Release
NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre
The Gathering Place
The St. John's Native Friendship Centre
Uncategorised
Youth Justice Camp

COVID-19 Updates from NL Courts

court updates

Please note that the following updates are current to the date posted. Updates will be provided as soon as possible. Except for rare circumstances where an in-person hearing or appearance is deemed necessary by the Supreme Court, all current proceedings at courts in the province are being conducted either in writing or by teleconference or videoconference. Matters currently accepted by courts in the province are outlined below.

Provincial Court

May 13th, 2020 Update

As of Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 the Provincial Court will begin accepting applications for matters now listed on the court docket. For a listing of the court docket, please click here.

The court will also now hear all matters where it can be shown that the case can be efficiently and effectively presented to the court without the need for physical presence. This may be done through a virtual hearing, as the court will determine. However, you must obtain court permission for your matter. The follow matters, however, will  not be heard:

  • Arraignments
  • Civil Trials
  • Traffic Trials
  • Peace Bond Hearings

To make an application to Provincial Court, please e-mail virtual@provincial.court.nl.ca.

Cases Scheduled between March 16th, 2020 – June 26th, 2020

All in-custody inter partes criminal cases and urgent and/or emergency matters will proceed virtually where practicable.

If you are not in custody and you have a court appearance for a criminal or non-urgent family matter between March 16th, 2020 and June 26th, 2020 your matter has been rescheduled fifteen (15) weeks ahead of your date. If your matter was scheduled between these dates you do not need to attend court at that time. Please check the court docket here to confirm your court date. Your new court date will be posted on the court docket when available.

For further information on Provincial Court updates, please visit the Provincial Court Website: https://court.nl.ca/provincial/.

May 4th, 2020 Update

As of Monday, May 4th, 2020, the Provincial Court will begin expanding its virtual operations. As of May 4, the Provincial Court will begin hearing matters, except for arraignments or trials, where it can be established that the case can be efficiently and effectively presented to the Court without the need for the physical presence of any person. Any parties wishing to have a matter heard must obtain leave from the Court by written application. The presiding judge would then determine the nature and processes of any virtual hearing that occurs.

March 28th, 2020 Update

This expansion is in addition to the matters that the Court announced on March 28, 2020 could be heard by virtual means, including:

  • Ex parte matters
  • In-custody criminal matters (where practicable)
  • Emergency family matters; and
  • Emergency applications in exigent circumstances as permitted by the Rules of Provincial Court

Other matters that do not fall under the exceptions outlined above continue to be adjourned or postponed until a later date.

As of Monday, March 30, 2020, Provincial Courthouses will be closed to the public and all staff will be working remotely. The Provincial Court will be continue to provide updates. Please visit the Provincial Court website here for updates regarding Provincial Court: https://www.court.nl.ca/provincial/ .

Supreme court (General division)

May 13th, 2020 Update

As of Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 the Supreme Court will  begin accepting all filings for processing. Please note that there will be a considerable delay in processing files due to resource limitations as a result of COVID-19. If your filing requires a commission of an oath then you must have this completed before filing. Court staff will not be able to swear oaths at this time. The Court will also begin accepting requests for access to court audio recordings and requisitions and searches of court files. Requests should be sent via e-mail. For a list of court registry emails, please visit the Notice to the Public dated May 19th, 2020, here.

As of Tuesday, May 19th, 2020, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador will resume certain court proceedings. All of these matters will proceed through audio-video technology as the court directs. The following criminal matters will begin to be heard:

  • Pre-Trial Conferences
  • Case Management Conferences
  • Certain Court Applications that a judge determines can proceed

The following civil matters may be heard, provided a judge has determined that it can proceed:

  • Settlement Conferences that a judge determines can proceed
  • Certain Court Applications that a judge determines can proceed

Further details about how parties to court proceedings will participate in any court matter will be provided by the court.
For additional information on expansion of Supreme Court (Family Division) services, please visit the following notice to the public by click here.


May 4th, 2020 Update

As of Monday, May 4th, 2020, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador will begin accepting filings related to the following matters:

  • Petitions for Probate,  Administration, and Guardianship of Estates
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency matters that can be dealt with ex parte or by consent
  • Interlocutory applications that can be dealt with solely in writing; and
  • Consent orders

Judges will review filings and deal with matters that can proceed without a court appearance. Some bankruptcy matters may be reviewed and dealt with by the Registrar.

This in addition to previously announced matters that the Supreme Court will hear, including:

In-Custody Criminal Matters:

  • Bail hearings and reviews
  • Sentencing hearings
  • Any other matter the Court deems necessary and appropriate to hear on an urgent basis

Public Health and Safety/COVID-19 Matters:

  • Applications by the Chief Medical Officer for orders related to COVID-19
  • Applications to restrain the contravention or continued contravention of an order made under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act
  • Applications to enforce relevant provisions of any order made under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act
  • Any other urgent requests or applications made under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act

Any other matter the Court deems necessary and appropriate to deal with on an urgent basis. The Supreme Court will continue to give priority to processing and hearing urgent and emergency matters.

Family Law matters that will be heard by the Supreme Court are outlined in the next section below.

Court appearances and hearings will be conducted by writing, teleconference, or videoconference, unless the Court determines that an in-person hearing or appearance is necessary.

Until further notice, the Court will accept unsworn or unaffirmed affidavits and documents where it is not possible to obtain a signature from a person authorized to administer oaths. However, the Court may require that a party or affiant participate in a telephone or videoconference hearing to swear or affirm to facts contained in an affidavit or other document.

Please visit the Supreme Court website here for additional updates and further information: https://www.court.nl.ca/supreme/ .

Supreme court (family division)

 

May 13th, 2020 Update

As of Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 the Supreme Court will  begin accepting all filings for processing. Please note that there will be a considerable delay in processing files due to resource limitations as a result of COVID-19. If your filing requires a commission of an oath then you must have this completed before filing. Court staff will not be able to swear oaths at this time. The Court will also begin accepting requests for access to court audio recordings and requisitions and searches of court files. Requests should be sent via e-mail. For a list of court registry emails, please visit the Notice to the Public dated May 19th, 2020, here.

As of Tuesday, May 19th, 2020, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador will resume certain court proceedings. All of these matters will proceed through audio-video technology as the court directs. The following Family matters will begin to be heard per court discretion:

 

  • Interim Applications
  • Settlement Conferences
  • Case Management Hearings

Further details about how parties to court proceedings will participate in any court matter will be provided by the court.
For additional information on expansion of Supreme Court (Family Division) services, please visit the following notice to the public by click here.

May 4th, 2020 Update

As of Monday, May 4th, 2020, the Supreme Court will begin expanding its operations to accept filings of the following family matters:

  • Support Orders Enforcement Act, 2006 applications:
    • Urgent applications to suspend the collection of support at the Support Enforcement Agency (s. 14(1))
    • Applications to reinstate a suspended or cancelled drivers’ license due to support arrears, outlining the reasons why reinstatement is required (s. 53(7))
  • Children’s Law Act applications:
    • Applications for the enforcement of parenting time where parenting time has been wrongfully denied pursuant to an existing court order
    • Interim applications for procedural orders in Form 16.03A
    • Applications for consent orders

This is in addition to previously announced urgent and emergency family matters, including:

  • Requests for urgent relief relating to the safety of a child or parent (for example, applications for prohibited contact or exclusive possession of a home to ensure the protection of a child)
  • Applications relating to medical decisions or wrongful removal of a child
  • Preservation orders
  • Warrants under the Children, Youth, and Families Act and statutorily mandated appearances
  • New applications under the Adult Protection Act

Court appearances and hearings will be conducted by writing, teleconference, or videoconference, unless the Court determines that an in-person hearing or appearance is necessary.

Until further notice, the Court will accept unsworn or unaffirmed affidavits and documents where it is not possible to obtain a signature from a person authorized to administer oaths. However, the Court may require that a party or affiant participate in a telephone or videoconference hearing to swear or affirm to facts contained in an affidavit or other document.

Please visit the Supreme Court website here for additional updates and further information regarding Supreme Court, Family Division: https://www.court.nl.ca/supreme/ .

Court of appeal

The Court of Appeal will hear Appeals scheduled for May and June, 2020 by video conference technology and has informed parties with Appeals scheduled during these months. There is no date scheduled for a return to in-person hearings at this time.

Physical access to the Court of Appeal continues to be restricted and all communication to the Court should be in writing and sent by fax or email to the Court of Appeal Registry at 709-729-0074 or coaregistry@appeal.court.nl.ca.

The Court of Appeal continues to hear applications in writing or by teleconference or videoconference.

Please visit the Court of Appeal website here for updates regarding the Court of Appeal: https://www.court.nl.ca/appeal/.

federal court

Please find a notice to the public from the Federal Court regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, current as of April 29th, 2020: https://www.fct-cf.gc.ca/Content/assets/pdf/base/Covid-19-Updated-Practice-Direction-Order-2-April-29-2020-FINAL-E.pdf

Please visit the Federal Court website here for updates regarding Federal Court: https://www.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/home.

administrative boards

Please be advised that as there numerous administrative boards have either suspended some services or restricted some services. These include boards or tribunals like the Residential Tenancies Board, the Human Rights Commission, the Labour Relations Board, and others. Please contact the administrative board that you are seeking updates on regularly to find the latest about COVID-19.

Human Rights Board:
Please be advised that the Human Rights Board offices are now closed but that staff are working remotely to continue to offer services. Please contact the Board via e-mail at humanrights@gov.nl.ca for any questions, comments, or concerns. Due to COVID-19 there will be some delays in responses from the Human Rights Board at this time. Please visit the Human Rights Boards website for updates regarding the Board: https://www.thinkhumanrights.ca/.

Landlord Tenant Board:
Please be advised that the Landlord Tenant Board is operating on a restricted basis due to COVID-19. Due to COVID-19 there will be some delays in responses from the Landlord Tenant Board at this time. Please contact the Board via telephone for updates regarding the Landlord Tenant Board: 1-877-829-2608.

Workers Compensation Board:

Please be advised that the Workers Compensation Board is currently operating at a reduced capacity. Some services have been suspended as a result of COVID-19. For a detailed list of which services are fully operational and which services have been suspended, please visit the Workers Compensation Board update on COVID-19 here:  https://www.workplacenl.ca/article/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/.