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Supreme Court of NL – St. John’s – Notice to the Profession and General Public

Re: St. John’s General Division and Family Division Suspending Normal Operations for Week of February 15-19, 2021

In response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the St. John’s metropolitan area, the St. John’s General Division (309 Duckworth Street) and Family Division (68 Portugal Cove Road) centres will be suspending normal operations for the week of February 15-19, 2021. Essential public service will be maintained. Details are provided below.

Trials, Hearings and Conferences Adjourned

  • Unless otherwise advised, all criminal, family and civil matters scheduled in the St. John’s General Division and Family Division for the week of February 15-19, 2021, are adjourned without parties having to appear. This includes both in-person and virtual matters.
  • All adjourned matters will be placed on the Court’s recovery docket and rescheduled as soon as possible. Court staff members will be in contact with parties to provide a rescheduled date.

Filing and Processing Documents

  • The Registries in the St. John’s General Division and Family Division will be closed for the week of February 15-19, 2021, and no access will be provided to mail drop boxes. Non-urgent filings will not be accepted.
  • Urgent filings may be sent by email to the appropriate address listed in the notice.
  • Forms may be downloaded from the Court’s website.
  • The Court may require that originals of documents be filed before granting an order.
  • The payment of any applicable filing fees will be postponed and addressed by the presiding judge.
  • Where a document must be issued, the Court will email or fax a copy of the issued document to the appropriate party.
  • For all non-urgent matters, the Court will grant extensions of time for filing when normal operations resume.
  • Processing times may be delayed owing to reduced staffing levels.

Urgent Matters

  • The General Division and Family Division will continue to hear urgent and emergency matters during the week of February 15-19, 2021. If you are seeking an urgent hearing, please contact the General Division or Family Division as applicable.
  • If your matter was set for the week of February 15-19, 2021, and you believe this matter was urgent, you may contact the General Division Registry or Family Division Registry, at the number or email address listed above, for further directions.
  • All urgent requests and filings will be triaged by a judge to determine if they may proceed. Note that the following family proceedings will be considered urgent:
    • requests for urgent relief relating to the safety of a child or parent;
    • applications relating to medical decisions or wrongful removal of a child;
    • applications to preserve property or assets;
    • warrants under the CYFS Act; and,
    • new applications under the Adult Protection Act
  • The Court will provide directions to the parties regarding how and when an urgent hearing will be conducted.
  • If a judge directs that a matter will proceed in-person, the matter will be held in accordance with the COVID-19 Guidelines issued by the Court.

Other Judicial Centres
All other judicial centres across the Province will continue to operate in the manner set out in the COVID-19 Guidelines. All persons attending at those courthouses are encouraged to review those Guidelines in detail. Note that everyone entering a courthouse is required to wear a mask, keep appropriate distance from others, and sanitize their hands frequently.

The Supreme Court will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation both in the St. John’s metropolitan area and across the province to determine whether any further changes to operations are required. An update will be provided next week. Please continue to consult the Court’s website and Twitter account (@NLSupremeCourt) for the most up-to-date information.

Notice to the Profession and General Public – Suspension of Normal Operations in St. John’s – February 12, 2021