As of Monday, March 16, 2020, if you have a family, civil, criminal court, Provincial Offences/traffic court or Contraventions Act appearance in the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court, you do not need to attend unless the matter is an in-custody or urgent criminal matter, or an urgent family or child/adult protection matter. This applies as well to all circuit
court cases. Travel by the Court party to all circuit centre locations has been suspended.
Do not come into a courthouse in person if you have been advised to self-isolate by public health officials, your doctor or via Government of NL Website https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/; or you are self-isolating as a result of travel or contact with individuals with COVID-19.
The Provincial Court will remain open, subject to the following:
*FRONT COUNTER SERVICE/BUILDING ACCESS
Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, public access to Provincial Court will be restricted. Main doors will be locked with local courthouse contact information posted. If you require assistance for a mandatory/urgent matter, please call the posted telephone number and a decision will be made if your matter will be processed at that time. Please note that some Court processes can be completed online as outlined in the following paragraphs.
CRIMINAL AND YOUTH CRIMINAL CASES
If you are not in custody and you have a criminal court appearance in the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court from Monday, March 16, 2020 to Friday, May 22, 2020 you do not need to attend court. The Court website will be updated regularly to provide information regarding rescheduling, including your new Court date, which will be ten (10) weeks from the date of your scheduled court appearance or the next court date thereafter. The Court will adjourn your matter without you being present using a Court Order called a “bench warrant with discretion” which will require you to attend Court on the new date. Your new Court date will be posted on the website when available. If your matter is urgent, you or your counsel may choose to come to Court and speak to your matter.
All in-custody matters will proceed including:
• Bail hearings
• Preliminary inquiries and trials
• Youth criminal sentence reviews
Wherever possible, the Court will make full use of video and audio technology to effectively address criminal matters involving accused persons who are in custody.
The Court will be available to process warrants and judicial authorizations.
Civil matters set to proceed from Monday, March 16, 2020 to Friday, May 22, 2020 will be adjourned indefinitely and parties will be contacted by the Court about rescheduled dates.
Small Claims filings may be made via mail, fax or online (e-filing) at
FAMILY (INCLUDING EMERGENCY PROTECTION ORDERS) AND PROTECTION MATTERS (CHILD AND ADULT)
Non-urgent family matters set to be heard from Monday, March 16, 2020 to Friday, May 22, 2020 will be adjourned for ten (10) weeks from the scheduled court date or the next court date thereafter. The Court website will be updated regularly to provide information regarding rescheduling.
Only emergency/mandatory matters will proceed, including, but not limited to:
Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs); and,
Family Emergency (such as risk of removal of a child from the Province).
All non-urgent family matters, including trials, scheduled to proceed from Monday, March 16, 2020 to Friday, May 22, 2020 are adjourned without the parties having to attend Court. There will be notification regarding the next appearance date via the Provincial Court website at https://court.nl.ca/provincial/ when available.
The Provincial Court registries will only accept any new non-urgent family filings from March 16, 2020 to May 22, 2020 by mail, e-mail and fax.
TRAFFIC COURT AND CONTRAVENTIONS ACT CASES
Traffic Court and Contraventions Act matters set to proceed from Monday, March 16 to Friday, May 22, 2020 will be adjourned indefinitely and parties will be contacted by the Court about rescheduled dates.
If you have a matter scheduled during this time, you do not need to attend Court. Your case will be rescheduled.
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 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.
The Court will post further information as it becomes available, so please continue to check the Provincial Court website ttps://court.nl.ca/provincial/ for updates.
Update: As of March 30, 2020, the Provincial court of Newfoundland & Labrador will not be operating from the courthouses and public access will be unavailable: https://themuse.ca/revised-covid-19-court-scheduling-notice-from-the-provincial-court-of-nl/