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Nova Scotia small claims court expands services

Thursday, July 09, 2020 @ 11:28 AM | By Terry Davidson

As part of a gradual expansion of services, Nova Scotia’s small claims court is now accepting non-urgent filings and hearing more matters by telephone.

According to a July 8 notice, counsel and involved parties “will be able to file Notices of Claim, Taxations and Residential Tenancy Appeals documents by mail or in-person via drop boxes set up in the courthouses.”

Like other courts in that province and across the country, Nova Scotia’s small claims court adjourned most matters as part of widespread economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

A judiciary spokesperson confirmed that, until now, the court was hearing only matters involving residential tenant eviction orders.

Access to courthouses continues to be limited to those who are involved in a hearing, have an appointment or work in the building.

As is the case with many other courts, a great reliance will be placed on teleconferencing.  

“To further reduce the number of people coming to court, adjudicators will hear all small claims matters by telephone,” states the notice. “The preliminary teleconference with the parties and the adjudicator will proceed on its initial hearing date. The adjudicator will then determine if the matter can proceed by telephone or if it will need to be adjourned until it can be heard in person. Among other things, adjudicators will consider the complexity of the case, the number of witnesses, and the type of evidence and documentation involved. Any in-person hearings will be rescheduled to dates in September.”

It notes that “[a]ny new claims issued that were not served prior to March 19, 2020, will need to be re-issued at the Court of Jurisdiction.”

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