NOTICE TO THE PROFESSION AND GENERAL PUBLIC – SUPREME COURT OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
SUPREME COURT OPERATIONS FOR GENERAL DIVISION
AND FAMILY DIVISION JUDICIAL CENTRES
For the information of all stakeholders, this Notice outlines the planned operations for the General Division and Family Division in all judicial centres beginning September 12, 2022.
This Notice will remain in effect until the public is otherwise advised.
OPERATIONS FROM SEPTEMBER
Beginning on September 12, 2022, all Supreme Court General Division and Family Division judicial centres will return to predominantly in-person services, but will continue to conduct some of their business virtually. Persons will no longer be required to wear a mask or to physically distance while in the courthouse, unless a judge directs otherwise. However, the Supreme Court continues to encourage all persons entering the courthouse to wear a 3-layer mask, maintain appropriate distance between other persons, and sanitize their hands regularly. Persons attending a court appearance should bring and be prepared to wear a mask, if so directed.
Persons who are required to self-isolate in accordance with the Self-Isolation Assessment Tool should not enter the courthouse. If you have an upcoming proceeding that you cannot attend in-person because you are required to self-isolate, please contact the Court as soon as possible so that the Court can make arrangements for you to appear virtually.
MATTERS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SET TO BE HEARD VIRTUALLY
Notwithstanding the information outlined below, where a trial, hearing or conference has already been set to be heard virtually, all participants should assume the matter will proceed virtually unless they are subsequently advised otherwise. In the event that a person is participating in a virtual trial, hearing or conference, they should consult Practice Note P.N. 2022-01 (“Virtual Appearances”).
Criminal, civil and family trials will proceed in-person, unless a judge orders that one or more of the participants in the trial may attend remotely, in accordance with the applicable statute/rules. Where a judge has ordered that one or more persons shall be attending remotely, Court staff members will contact the individuals so appearing to make necessary arrangements.
Criminal, civil and family hearings, including family Case Management Hearings, will proceed in-person, unless a judge orders that one or more of the participants in the hearing shall attend remotely, or a person is permitted to appear remotely, in accordance with the applicable statute/rules. Where a judge has ordered that one or more persons shall be attending remotely, or one or more persons is permitted to appear remotely, in accordance with the applicable statute/rules, Court staff members will contact the individuals so appearing to make necessary arrangements.
The following types of conferences will be held in-person, unless a judge orders that one or more of the participants in the conference shall attend remotely, or a person is permitted to appear remotely, in accordance with the applicable statute/rules:
- Settlement conferences in civil proceedings;
- Settlement conferences and Trial Readiness Conferences in family proceedings; and
- Resolution conferences in criminal proceedings.
All other conferences, including pre-trial conferences and case management conferences held in civil or criminal matters, will be conducted virtually, unless the presiding judge directs otherwise.
FILING AND PROCESSING OF DOCUMENTS
Supreme Court Registries are open for in-person service, but persons attending at the St. John’s General Division and Family Division Registries must make an appointment for in-person service using the online scheduling system (note that urgent in-person service may be provided in the absence of an appointment).
The Court continues to encourage all persons to use the drop boxes located at the front of the courthouse for contactless drop-off and pick-up of documents wherever possible. The drop boxes and mail hubs are accessible during the Court’s normal business hours. Documents that are delivered in the drop boxes less than one hour before the Court’s normal closing time will be time stamped as received on the following business day. For documents left in a drop box, filing fees must be paid in one of the following ways: (1) the filing party may include a cheque enclosed with the document being filed; or (2) the filing party may provide a contact name and number with the document so that the Court can process a credit card payment by phone.
Please note the following:
- Email filings will not be accepted (with the exception of email filings permitted in accordance with Practice Note P.N. 2020-03 (“Filing Documents by Email”)).
- Forms may be downloaded from the Court’s website.
CONTACTING THE COURT
If you are seeking an urgent hearing or you have questions about your upcoming appearance, or need other assistance on an urgent basis, please contact the applicable Registry using the contact information below:
Corner Brook Family Division
Corner Brook General Division
Gander General Division
Grand Bank General Division
Grand Falls-Windsor General Division
Happy Valley-Goose Bay General Division
St. John’s Family Division
For scheduling related issues: email@example.com
For all other issues: firstname.lastname@example.org
St. John’s General Division
PUBLIC AND MEDIA ACCESS TO PROCEEDINGS
Members of the public and media will be permitted to enter the courthouse to attend in-person trials and hearings that are open to the public. Where a trial or hearing is being held virtually, members of the public and the media may attend in the courtroom to listen to the proceedings.
RAYMOND P. WHALEN