Supreme court – Notice to the Profession and General Public
Issued: April 28, 2020
Updated: May 4, 2020
In the Notice to the Profession and General Public on March 18, 2020, the Court suspended its regular operations and limited operations to urgent and emergency matters. The Court continues to follow the Chief Medical Officer’s Special Measures Order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We appreciate the difficulties and challenges that this suspension of services presents to parties and counsel. The Court is working to expand operations while ensuring the safety of stakeholders, staff, judges and the public. As a court of record, we have been analyzing and testing solutions to ensure that appropriate levels of information security are in place and that the ability to record proceedings is available.
Expansion of Court Operations
1. The Court will begin expanding its operations on May 4, 2020 to accept filings of:
- 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.
A judge will review these filings and deal with the matters that can proceed without a court appearance. In the case of certain bankruptcy matters, filings may be reviewed and dealt with by the Registrar.
The Court will also accept requests to finalize draft orders.
- Support Orders Enforcement Act, 2006 Applications:
- s.14(1) Urgent Applications to suspend the collection of support at the Support Enforcement Agency; and
- s.53(7) Applications to reinstate a suspended or cancelled drivers’ license due to support arrears, outlining the reasons why reinstatement in required, as set out in s.53(9).
A judge will review these filings. If a judge determines that the matter should be heard, the Court will provide direction for the hearing of the matter.
- Children’s Law Act Applications:
- s. 41 Applications for the enforcement of parenting time where parenting time has been wrongfully denied pursuant to an existing Court order.
A judge will review these Applications and the Court will provide direction for the hearing of the matter.
- Interim Applications for procedural orders in form F16.03A. A judge will review these filings and deal with matters that can proceed without a court appearance.
- Applications for consent orders.
2. Priority will continue to be given to the processing and hearing of urgent and emergency matters.
3. Filings in hard copy form will be accepted via regular mail and delivery into drop boxes located at each courthouse. This is the preferred method of receipt. When hard-copy delivery is not possible, electronic filings adhering to the following conditions are permitted:
- One email accepted with maximum three attachments, to a maximum total page count of 30;
- All documents requiring a signature must be signed. Documents submitted without a signature will not be accepted.
- Photographs from cell phones or other devices will not be accepted.
- Documents must be scanned and emailed in PDF format.
3.1. Filings deemed urgent and/or emergency as per the published Notices to the Profession and General Public are permitted electronically to the applicable email address as outlined in the Notice.
4. Until further notice, the Court will accept unsworn/unaffirmed affidavits or documents where it is not possible to obtain a signature from a person authorized to administer oaths. The Court may require that a party/affiant participate in a telephone or videoconference hearing to swear/affirm to facts contained in an affidavit or other document.
5. The Court may require original documents to be filed before granting any order.
6. Please note that some matters and filings continue to be suspended until further notice. These include:
- Proceedings and filings involving in-person attendances or in-person appearances, unless directed by the Court; and
- All non-urgent matters except those outlined in this Notice and in the Court’s Notices to the Profession and General Public of March 18 and March 20, 2020.
The Court will continue to post further updates and details regarding expansion of operations. Please continue to check the Supreme Court website at www.court.nl.ca/supreme.