Provincial Court – Notice to the Profession and General Public
Re: Expansion of Operations – Virtual Court – up to and including June 26, 2020
Issued: May 13, 2020
As a result of recent announcements by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador has made certain changes to its operations.
As of Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the Court will be accepting applications to hear more of the cases which are now listed on its dockets.
The Court will now hear all matters (except arraignments, civil trials, traffic trials and peace bond hearings) where it can be established that the case can be efficiently and effectively presented
to the Court for adjudication without the need for the physical presence of any person.
However, before any such case can proceed the parties will be required to obtain the permission of the Court. The nature of the virtual hearing and the processes by which the remote
appearances might be best achieved can then be determined by the presiding judge.
Anyone wishing to make an application should forward it in the form as prescribed by the Rules to email@example.com. A time will then be set for its hearing.
All in-custody inter partes criminal cases and urgent/emergency family matters will proceed virtually, if practicable. Protocols established by Notices dated March 22, 2020 and March 28,
2020 for all matters continue in effect.
All other cases which had been scheduled for adjudication between March 16, 2020 and June 26, 2020 will now be advanced by fifteen (15) weeks. This means that if you are not in custody and
you have a court appearance for a criminal matter or a non-urgent family matter from Monday, March 16, 2020 to Friday June 26, 2020 you do not need to attend court. The Court website will
be updated regularly to provide information regarding rescheduling, including your new Court date, which will be fifteen (15) weeks from the date of your scheduled court appearance or the
next day after that the Court is open. The Court will adjourn your matter without you being present using a Court Order called a “bench warrant with discretion” which will require you to
attend Court on the new date. Your new Court date will be posted on the website when available.
All circuits of the Court remain suspended until further notice.
Civil trials, traffic trials, and Contraventions Act cases will be adjourned indefinitely and the parties will be contacted by the Court regarding rescheduled dates.