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Nova Scotia court suspends filing deadlines

Monday, March 30, 2020 @ 12:06 PM | By Terry Davidson

Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court has suspended some of its filing deadlines as part of ongoing efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19.

On March 28, the chief justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court (NSSC) “directed that, unless a judge indicates otherwise, filing deadlines outlined in the Civil Procedure Rules, for civil and family matters in the General Division only, are suspended until further notice.”

It is retroactive to March 19, states a news release.

It notes the suspension does not apply to criminal matters, proceedings in the Supreme Court’s Family Division or proceedings in the Court of Appeal.

“This directive includes, but is not limited to, filing a Notice of Defence in an action, a Notice of Contest in an application, and a Notice of Judicial Review or Notice of Appeal under Civil Procedure Rule 7,” it states.

“The suspension of these filing deadlines is a temporary measure that will remain in effect until such time that the Supreme Court stops operating under an essential services model,” it states. “When the Court resumes normal operations, counsel and the public will be advised via a notice on the Courts of Nova Scotia website.”

It notes the deadline suspension will not impact filing deadlines set by legislation, “such as the deadlines contained in the Limitations of Action Act or the Probate Act,” and that deadlines “created under a statute can only be amended by the Nova Scotia Legislature.”  

The notice also provides a reminder that the NSSC is currently operating under an “essential services” model and that only “urgent or essential matters, as determined by a judge, are proceeding at this time.”

It notes the NSSC recently stopped accepting hard-copy documents at the courthouse, and that counsel and self-representing individuals involved in urgent or essential matters must use e-mail or fax as the filing methods.