COVID-19

Closures Affecting Courts and Workplace Tribunals in Atlantic Canada – Updated March 27/20

Updated March 27, 2020

Courts and workplace tribunals in Atlantic Canada have taken preventative measures in response to COVID-19.

NOVA SCOTIA

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

  • All sittings scheduled for March and April are adjourned, unless they must proceed due to exceptional circumstances
  • Chambers matters are proceeding by phone

Nova Scotia Supreme Court

  • Jury trials are postponed for sixty (60) days
  • Pre-trial conferences and Chambers matters are being conducted by phone
  • All proceedings will be limited to those that are deemed urgent or essential until further notice
  • Urgent or essential matters may be dealt with by phone or videoconferencing
  • Hard copies of documents are no longer accepted and all parties must email or fax documents for filing and original copies of all court documents provided electronically must be filed within 14 business days of the Court resuming normal operations

Nova Scotia Provincial Court

  • Access will be restricted to only those persons necessary to the proceedings before the Court
  • Efforts are being made to schedule and adjourn matters until after May 31, 2020
  • Individuals are advised not to attend court in person unless the matter related to an in-custody or urgent criminal or family law or child/adult protection matter
  • Fine payment deadlines have been extended 90 days beyond existing due dates and the Registry of Motor Vehicles will  suspend issuing certificates of default for a 60-day period

Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia

  • All matters are adjourned to June

Nova Scotia Workers’ Compensation Board

  • All in-person hearings for March and April are postponed with written and phone hearings being offered as alternative options
  • All in-person services have been suspended
  • All employer premium payments will be deferred for 3 months and late fees and interest will not be charged until further notice

Nova Scotia Labour Board

  • In-person hearings, mediations, case management conference and interviewed for April and May will not be held
  • Any application or appeal with a statutory timeframe may be filed electronically
  • New applications for certification, revocation or amendments will not be processed until May 1, 2020
NEW BRUNSWICK

New Brunswick Court of Appeal

  • Matters scheduled for March 16, 2020 through to today have been adjourned to test measures for remote communication
  • If measures are not successful, appeals will be adjourned or heard by phone
  • Certain filing deadlines have been extended

New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench

  • Jury trials have been adjourned
  • All non-essential or non-urgent matters are adjourned until further notice
  • Chambers matters will proceed
  • Documents may be filed by mail, courier, fax or electronic filing by email

New Brunswick Provincial Court

  • All trials and preliminary inquiries are adjourned except for urgent matters
  • Other matters may proceed by video or audio conferencing

Small Claims Court of New Brunswick

  • All matter are adjourned

WorkSafeNB

  • Closed to visitors
  • All premiums for businesses will be deferred for 3 months

New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board

  • Operations have been suspended with the exception of matters deemed to be critical to the health, safety, or security of the public
  • No hearings will take place and no matters will be processed with previously set filing deadlines suspended and new deadlines set once operations resume

Essential and urgent matters are still being heard in-person with restricted access to Courts to only those necessary for the proceeding and matters are being heard by phone or video where possible.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

Court of Appeal of Newfoundland & Labrador

  • Closed to the public except for counsel, parties and witnesses until March 19, 2020
  • All currently scheduled appeals are suspended until further notice unless urgent or exceptional circumstances
  • All scheduled applications will be heard by phone or video conference and new applications will only be scheduled if urgent and will be heard by phone or video conference
  • All documents must be filed electronically or by fax, payment of fees is postponed and will be collected on resumption of normal operations

Supreme Court of Newfoundland & Labrador

  • Closed to the public except for counsel, parties and witnesses until March 19, 2020
  • Jury trials scheduled between March 17, 2020 and May 31, 2020 are suspended
  • All  matters scheduled to be heard after March 18, 2020 are adjourned
  • Only in-custody criminal matters and urgent and emergency civil matters will be heard until further notice
  • Non-urgent filings will not be accepted. Filing deadlines for non-urgent matters will be extended when normal operations resume
  • Urgent filings will only be accepted via email
  • Payment of fees is postponed and will be collected on resumption of normal operations
  • Any urgent appearance or hearings will be conducted in writing, by [hone or videoconference unless in-person  hearing/appearance is necessary

Provincial Court of Newfoundland & Labrador

  • All trials and appearances, with some exceptions, are suspended
  • Access to the Court is restricted

WorkplaceNL

  • In-person services are suspended until further notice
  • Collection of employer assessment payments is deferred until June 30, 2020
  • Interest charges and penalties have been waived until June 30, 2020

Newfoundland & Labrador Human Rights Commission

  • Walk-in services are no longer available
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal

  • All in-person court appearances and matters that are not urgent are suspended
  • Previously scheduled in-person motions and conferences will be conducted by phone or other means
  • Non-essential matters, including previously scheduled case management conferences, pre-motion conferences, settlement conferences, pre-trial conferences and trials (including small claims trials) are adjourned
  • Filing of documents is limited and documents may be filed via email or fax

Prince Edward Island Supreme Court

  • All in-person court appearances and matters that are not urgent are suspended
  • Previously scheduled in-person motions and conferences will be conducted by phone or other means
  • Non-essential matters, including previously scheduled case management conferences, pre-motion conferences, settlement conferences, pre-trial conferences and trials (including small claims trials) are adjourned
  • Filing of documents is limited and documents may be filed via email or fax

Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island

  • Access will be limited to only those individuals who are required to be present for urgent matters
  • All trials and preliminary hearings involving non-urgent matters are adjourned until after May 31, 2020
  • Late fees and licenses suspension actions will not be taken and enforcing collection of fine payments will be suspended until April 1, 2020

Prince Edward Island Workers’ Compensation Board

  • Closed until further notice

Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission

  • Closed until further notice

Prince Edward Island Labour and Industrial Relations Board

  • Closed until further notice

Please contact the applicable court or workplace tribunal for more information. 

We will continue to update our clients with information as soon as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related questions, or would like assistance with developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.

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