Supreme Court – Notice to the Profession and General Public
Re: Rescheduling Missed Appearances in the St. John’s Family Division
Issued: June 3, 2020
In response to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador suspended its normal operations on March 18, 2020, permitting only urgent and emergency matters to proceed. As a result, a number of matters were postponed. The Court is now working on finding ways to address the backlog of appearances that were missed since that date. Further to this, the Court issues the following Notice outlining the rescheduling process for certain types of appearances in the Family Division in St. John’s.
Missed Applications, Case Management Hearings, and Default Summons
If you were required to appear for an application, case management hearing or default summons between March 19 – May 14 and it did not proceed, your matter will now proceed via teleconference on the corresponding “rescheduled date” in the table below, unless you have previously been contacted by the Court to reschedule your appearance. Your matter will be held on the rescheduled date at the time originally set (for example, if your matter was set for 10:00AM on March 19, it is now set for 10:00AM on June 18). With that said, some delay is anticipated owing to the time required to connect to parties via teleconference.
To minimize such delays, please ensure the telephone number at which you would like to be contacted for the appearance is on file with the Court by emailing email@example.com as soon as possible (this requirement also applies to counsel, who must provide one direct telephone number for this purpose). Please include in your email: court file number; case name; date and time of court appearance and your current telephone number (only one number). Please also ensure your phone line is free the day of your scheduled matter. If the Court cannot reach you at the time set for your appearance, the judge may proceed in your absence and may, in some circumstances, make an Order against you.
Please note that the scheduling of dates is contingent on a number of factors. As a result, matters set on earlier original dates are not necessarily given earlier rescheduled dates. Please see the attached Notice for dates.
If your settlement conference was set between March 19 – May 22, 2020, and it did not proceed, and you still wish to go ahead with it, you must file another Request for Settlement Conference (Form F25.03A). That form is available here:
When the Court receives a Request from both parties, a new date will be set for the settlement conference to be heard via video conference without the need for a Case Management Hearing.
To minimize delays on the day of the settlement conference and prior to the settlement conference, all parties who will participate in the settlement conference must test their video conferencing equipment and the video link supplied by the Court. Wherever possible, counsel should make arrangements for their clients to appear with them in their office, to minimize the number of video connections required.
The Court will continue to post further updates and details regarding its operations. Please continue to check the Supreme Court website at www.court.nl.ca/supreme.