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COVID-19 Impact on NL Courts

court updates

Please note that the following updates are current to the date posted. To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, all courts in Newfoundland and Labrador have taken measures to ensure that only employees necessary for the administration of justice are present in the courts. As such, please be advised that there will be significant delays in non-urgent matters progressing through the courts at this time.

provincial court

As of Monday, March 16th, 2020, the only matters being heard in Provincial Court are in-custody or urgent criminal matter, or an urgent family or child/adult protection matter. if you have an appearance scheduled that is not in-custody or urgent criminal or family or child/adult protection matters, including for a family, civil, criminal, traffic court, provincial offences,  or Contraventions Act matter in Provincial Court, you do not need to attend Court and the matter will be adjourned or postponed until a later date.

Please be advised that as of Monday, March 30th, 2020, Provincial Courthouses will be closed to the public and all staff will be working remotely. The Provincial Court will be making updates when possible. Please visit the Provincial Court website here for updates regarding Provincial Court: https://www.court.nl.ca/provincial/ .

Supreme court (General division)

As of Monday, March 23rd, 2020, Chief Justice Whalen has stated that the Supreme Court will continue to provide directions to counsel and parties where the Court determines that an in-person hearing/appearance on an urgent matter is necessary.All other urgent hearings/appearances will be conducted via telephone or video conference. Please visit the Supreme Court website here for updates regarding Supreme Court: https://www.court.nl.ca/supreme/ .

Supreme court (family division)

As of Monday, March 23rd, 2020, Chief Justice Whalen has stated that the Supreme Court will continue to provide directions to counsel and parties where the Court determines that an in-person hearing/appearance on an urgent matter is necessary.All other urgent hearings/appearances will be conducted via telephone or video conference. Please visit the Supreme Court website here for updates regarding Supreme Court: https://www.court.nl.ca/supreme/ .

Court of appeal

As of Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, Chief Justice Deborah Fry has stated that all communications to the Court of Appeal should be in writing and sent by fax or email to the Court of Appeal Registry which can be reached at fax number (709) 729-0074 or coaregistry@appeal.court.nl.ca. All scheduled applications will proceed and will be heard by telephone or video conference. Parties will be contacted by the Registry to advise of arrangements. New applications will only be scheduled if they are of an urgent nature and will be heard by telephone or video conference

All currently scheduled appeals will be suspended until further notice.The Registry will contact the parties to reschedule these appeals. 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 Friday, March 20th, 2020: https://www.fct-cf.gc.ca/content/assets/pdf/base/Federal%20Court%20-%20Cour%20f%C3%A9d%C3%A9rale%20Summary%20&%20FAQ%20COVID-19%20(Eng-fr).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/.