Update to Operations – Provincial Court
The Provincial Court continues to monitor information communicated by public health officials and reassess its Operational Plan accordingly, taking a cautious and measured approach in reopening its courthouses.
Effective Tuesday, February 8, 2022 the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador will expand Court operations. However, access to the Court will be restricted to those persons who are participants in the proceedings before it. These will include counsel, parties, witnesses, complainants, support workers, probation officers, victim services workers, parents of a young person, members of the media and any person authorized in advance by a Judge. The presiding Judge may limit access to the courtroom.
Peace officers may attend the courthouses with applications for judicial authorizations and other services as required.
FRONT COUNTER SERVICE
Front counter service may be restricted in some areas. Please call your local courthouse in advance. See below for contact information.
ADULT AND YOUTH CRIMINAL CASES, FAMILY MATTERS, PROTECTION APPLICATIONS, PEACE BONDS, TRAFFIC COURT AND CONTRAVENTIONS ACT CASES
All matters will proceed as scheduled unless otherwise notified. For matters which were rescheduled due to the pandemic, please refer to the Provincial Court Docket at https://docket.court.nl.ca/ for instructions on how to access your new Court date.
Applications for peace bonds will now be accepted and hearings will be scheduled.
- Fine payments can be made to Fines Administration by phone, online at https://www.gov.nl.ca/pay-online/ or by mail (see back of ticket). Payments may also be made to the Provincial Court by mail only. Do not mail cash.
- Time to pay extensions, adjournment requests and not guilty pleas can be made by contacting the local courthouse by mail, e-mail or fax.
- If you fail to notify the requisite court location of your intention to contest a matter by mail, e-mail or fax you will be convicted in your absence.
Arraignments, judicial interim release (bail) hearings and sentencings will be conducted using audio and video technology unless otherwise directed by the Judge.
The Accused will attend their trials or preliminary inquiries in-person unless otherwise ordered by a Judge.
PERSONS NOT IN-CUSTODY
If you are scheduled to appear in Court (first appearance, trial, preliminary inquiry, sentencing hearing or other hearing, or to vary an existing order), and you are not represented by counsel, you must appear in Court on your scheduled date. For matters which were rescheduled due to the pandemic, please refer to the Provincial Court Docket at https://docket.court.nl.ca/ for instructions on how to access your new Court date.
PARTIES REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL
Counsel requesting an adjournment of a matter are to file an application for a postponement in advance of the court date. Applications can be filed electronically to the relevant court centre.
Counsel are encouraged to file electronically but in-person applications will also be accepted.
Counsel are also encouraged to file designations of counsel where applicable.
For individual appearances by counsel, CourtCall will be employed.
The Court will maintain its capacity to conduct virtual court. Parties are required to make an application for use of virtual court.
Drug Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, and Family Violence Intervention Court will be fully reinstated. Audio and video technology including virtual court may be used where practicable.
CIVIL MATTERS (SMALL CLAIMS SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES, AND SMALL CLAIMS TRIALS)
These cases will continue to be adjourned sine die. Parties will be contacted by the Court regarding rescheduled dates.
Outside St. John’s
Cases will proceed. Parties whose matters were scheduled between January 4 to February 7, 2022, will be contacted by the Court regarding new dates.
Small Claims filings in all Court centres may be made via mail, fax or online (e-filing) at https://provincial.efile.court.nl.ca
Travel to circuit court locations will resume unless otherwise notified by the Court.
WEEKEND AND STATUTORY HOLIDAY COURT (WASH)
Current WASH court procedures remain unchanged. The general public will not be permitted to attend. All parties, including the Accused, will appear by audio or video technology.
PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES
If you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms do not attend Court. You must contact the local court by telephone in advance of your scheduled appearance. (The numbers are listed in the Notice.) You will be required to provide your contact information.
To help protect all persons attending Court, you must wear a face mask over the mouth and nose at all times. The mask must be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen). Masks with an effective middle filter layer are preferred over two layer masks.
The mask must be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaps. It should be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of two or to individuals who are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition.
If you attend Court without a mask, or your mask is deemed unsuitable, a disposable mask will be provided along with instruction on how to properly and safely use the mask.
Please visit https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ for the most recent and up-to-date information relating to COVID-19, including the self-assessment tool.