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Northwest Territories courts shut down in-person services

Thursday, April 02, 2020 @ 3:09 PM | By John Chunn


Due to the ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure physical distancing, the Court Services Division of the Northwest Territories’ Department of Justice announced that it is suspending in-person services at court registries and the Sheriff’s Office effective April 2 at 4 p.m. MDT.

Court registry

According to the government’s press release, registry services remain available online and remotely and through drop-box filing of hard copy documents in the manner described here at the Yellowknife and Hay River court registries. See here for contacts.

The Inuvik court registry is closed until further notice. 

Filing of documents

Documents may be filed by placing them in the drop box at the front door of the Yellowknife and Hay River courthouses. All documents must be inserted in an envelope indicating the court for which the documents are intending, and filing instructions must be provided that specify:
  • Whether copies or certified copies are required and how the filer would like to receive them. They can be e-mailed or the clerk can arrange for a time for pickup at the front lobby of the courthouse.
  • Contact information for the filer (person filing the documents).
  • Instructions with respect to payment of fees. Fees can be paid by preauthorized credit card on file, by credit card over the telephone, or by money order or cheque. Do not deposit cash.

Fine and restitution payments

All fines can be paid online at www.nwtcourts.ca. If online payment is not possible, a money order or personal cheque can be deposited in the drop box described above. Do not deposit cash.

File searches

Searches will be performed by court officers. Requests should be e-mailed to either territorialcourt@gov.nt.ca (Yellowknife), territorialcourtHR@gov.nt.ca (Hay River) or supremecourt@gov.nt.ca specifying the exact name(s) to be searched and contact information for the requestor. Court officers will perform searches for the name(s) requested and provide screenshots of results returned. Applicable search fees can be paid by preauthorized credit card on file, by credit card over the telephone, or by money order or cheque. Do not deposit cash.

Please contact the appropriate court registry for any other service-related inquiry.

Access to court registry mailboxes will be closed. Counsel who cannot attend the registry before 4 p.m. MDT on April 2 may contact the registry to make arrangements to receive the contents of their mailbox.

Sheriff services

The Sheriff’s Office remains available remotely and through drop-box filing of hard-copy documents in the manner described above at the Yellowknife courthouse. All posted telephone and e-mail contacts continue to be monitored. See here for contacts.

The following services requiring personal contact are suspended until further notice; but, requests for service will still be accepted and will be carried out when service resumes:
  • Document services
  • Seizures of assets or land
  • Evictions for unpaid rent or other financial considerations.

Contact the Sheriff’s Office for assistance for any other service-related inquiry.