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Nova Scotia Appeal Court adjourns additional hearings

Friday, March 27, 2020 @ 2:45 PM | By Terry Davidson

Stepping up efforts to stunt the spread of COVID-19, Nova Scotia’s Court of Appeal has extended the stoppage of its regular operations by shelving all scheduled hearings until the fall.

According to a March 27 press release from the Nova Scotia Judiciary, the court “is adjourning all hearings that were scheduled for the upcoming May/June term and suspending all filing deadlines related to those matters.”

Hearings are expected to resume “later in September,” as the court does not sit in July and August, according to a judiciary spokesperson.

According to the release, cases deemed by the court as “urgent or essential” will be considered exceptions. Counsel or those self-represented wanting to argue those matters must make written submissions to the court registrar by April 10. A three-judge panel will decide if these cases are, in fact, urgent or essential.

 “All the adjourned hearings will be rescheduled this fall, with new filing deadlines to be set for those that were previously scheduled in May and June,” states the release.

The spokesperson said urgent and essential chambers motions will continue to be heard by phone, as required, throughout the year.

For new chambers motions, parties are to provide written request to the registrar outlining why their matter should be scheduled. A judge will review the requests.

Originally, the court had adjourned hearings scheduled for what remained of its March/April term, save for two urgent matters that proceeded by telephone.

As well, Civil Procedure Rules for commencing appeals will be suspended from March 26 to June 26.

“This should mean fewer new appeals will be started during this time,” states the release, adding the “deadline for making the motion for date … will also be suspended for this period.”

“All these measures will help to further reduce the number of people who need to visit the courthouses in person and help protect the health and well-being of the employees and judges still working at the courthouses,” states the release.

As of March 27, Nova Scotia had 90 positive cases of COVID-19, according to the Nova Scotia government’s website.