Government of New Brunswick

Measures applicable to all levels of court

In response to the rapidly changing situation with Covid-19, the New Brunswick Courts are taking steps to slow or prevent the spread of the virus.

As announced by the Chief Justice of New Brunswick, the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, access to the courthouses in New Brunswick is restricted to only those persons who are necessary to the proceedings before the courts.  

This will include counsel, litigants, accused, witnesses, victim service workers and members of the media.

The general public will not be allowed in the courthouse.  Access by the media will serve to honor the open court principle.  No one who is experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms should attend the courthouses even if they are necessary to a proceeding.

If you have a scheduled court appearance and you have been advised to self-isolate due to possible exposure to Covid-19, or if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, do not proceed to the courthouse you are expected to be at. Instead immediately contact the appropriate court office to inform the Court that you have been advised not to attend and follow any directions.

Please be prepared to provide your name and details about your court appearance, court file number if known, as well as any details of who advised you to isolate yourself because of exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

  • The public is informed not to enter a courthouse unless you are a justice participant, a journalist or otherwise have business to be there.  This is because of the extraordinary circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 emergency measures;
  • Everyone is informed not to enter a courthouse if advised by Public Health, a doctor or the Department of Health website to self-isolate due to possible exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) or if experiencing Coronavirus/COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Persons with scheduled court appearances are being informed that, if they are advised to self-isolate due to possible exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), they must not come to the courthouse in person.  Instead, they are to immediately contact the appropriate court office to inform the Court that they have been advised not to attend and to follow any directions;
  • Appropriate directions are being issued to judges and court personnel to self-isolate where appropriate and otherwise to take all precautionary measures not to contract the virus.
  • Directive from Chief Justice
  • All motions and status hearings will be heard as scheduled, but by telephone conference.  Lawyers and self-represented parties are being contacted to provide them with call-in details;
  • The appeals scheduled for Monday, March 16 through to Wednesday, March 18 are being adjourned while the Court tests measures that could allow appeals to be heard from remote locations; that is, from one’s home office;
  • Failing these measures, the appeals will be adjourned or perhaps heard by telephone with the consent of all parties;
  • Any party claiming that the hearing of an appeal is urgent will be allowed to make a request to be heard by a single judge to determine if the appeal is indeed urgent;
  • Request for adjournments will be entertained by telephone.
  • All jury trials scheduled are being adjourned until further notice;
  • All matters scheduled before small claims adjudicators and case management masters are adjourned until further notice;
  • All non-essential or non-urgent matters are being adjourned until further notice;
  • Matters that may be considered in Chambers will continue uninterrupted;
  • The offices of the Clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench will remain open at reduced capacity to allow for the filing of documents;
  • The ability to file documents electronically is an option being considered urgently and further directives will follow;

ACCESS TO CLERKS’ OFFICES

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to limit in person contact in the Court houses across the Province, the Clerk’s office and the Queen’s Bench section of the Registrar’s office will only be available by appointment by contacting the appropriate office.  Telephone and email access remain in effect during regular office hours but with reduced staff. Please refer to contact information provided at the end of this directive.

FILING OF DOCUMENTS

Given the exceptional circumstances caused by the current COVID19 pandemic, the Court of Queen’s Bench will accept the filing of documents via electronic means and fax, as well as in the traditional manner.  

JUDICIAL DISTRICTS

The filing of documents will be accepted in the Court of Queen’s Bench (Trial Division and Family Division) and Small Claims Court, by mail, courier, fax, electronic filing by email, or by leaving the documents in a secure box set out for that purpose and located in a designated place in each Court House.  For electronic filing by email, please refer to the email addresses listed below for each Judicial District.

Filing of documents in the Probate Court will only be accepted by mail, courier or by leaving the documents in a secure box set out for that purpose and located in a designated place in each Court House. 

Payment of filing fees for e-filing or filing by fax may be made by credit card by calling the telephone number of the Judicial Districts listed below. Please refer to contact information provided at the end of this directive.

REGISTRAR’S OFFICE

Filing of Petitions/Applications for Divorce and Answer and Counter-Petitions will only be accepted for filing by mail, courier or by leaving the documents in the secure box set out for that purpose located outside Room 202 in the Justice Building in Fredericton. Filing fees (certified cheque or money order) must be included.  All other documents for the Divorce Registry may be filed via e-mail at the address mentioned below.

Bankruptcy documents can be filed by mail, courier, fax, electronic filing by email, or by leaving the documents in the secure box set out for that purpose located outside Room 202 in the Justice Building in Fredericton. Filing fees for bankruptcy documents must still be sent by cheque.

SMALL CLAIMS COURT

All small claims scheduled between now and August 1st will be adjourned with new dates to be set after August 1st, 2020.  New small claims filed will be scheduled to be heard according to availability post August 1st.  Small claims are being adjourned until August so that the small claims adjudicators are available to lend their assistance to the inevitable backlog of cases in the family division which will have accumulated during the cessation of normal court operations.

APRIL AND MAY MOTION’S DAYS

The regular motion’s days scheduled for April 14th, 2020 and May 4th, 2020 are adjourned.  However, certain matters may proceed via telephone conference call as directed by the judge responsible for Motion’s day in the various jurisdictions.  Parties who are to appear via telephone conference call at Motion’s day on either April 14th, 2020 or May 4th, 2020 will be contacted by the clerk’s office with call in details.

JURY TRIALS

All jury trials scheduled between now and May 29th are adjourned.  Case Management Conferences will be scheduled via telephone in all affected matters in order to discuss rescheduling of these trials and other logistical concerns.  In the event that jury trials currently scheduled after June 1st must be adjourned as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, all parties affected will be advised immediately and this directive will be updated accordingly.

FAMILY DIVISION

All matters scheduled in the Family division of the Court of Queen’s Bench are adjourned until May 29th, 2020 with the exception of the following:

  • Protective care hearings pursuant to Sections 37.1(4)(b) and 51(6) of the Family Services Act;
  • Applications in regard to abused or neglected adults pursuant to Sections 37, 38, 39, and 40 of the Family Services Act;
  • First Appearances in child protection matters pursuant to Section 51(1) of the Family Services Act;
  • Matters pursuant to the Intimate Partner Violence Act; and
  • Any other matter deemed urgent by the responsible judge.

All matters scheduled before the Case Management Masters in the Jurisdictions of Moncton and Saint John between now and May 29th are adjourned.

Certain matters currently scheduled in the Family Division that may reasonably be conducted via telephone may proceed if in the opinion of the presiding judge and the parties the matter may be heard via telephone.

TRIAL DIVISION

All matters scheduled in the Trial division of the Court of Queen’s Bench are adjourned until May 29th, 2020 with the exception of the following:

  • All criminal matters where the accused is incarcerated;
  • Injunctions or applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Any other matter considered urgent by the responsible judge.

Certain matters currently scheduled in the Trial Division that may reasonably be conducted via telephone may proceed if in the opinion of the presiding judge and the parties the matter may be heard via telephone.

COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH FAMILY DIVISION AND TRIAL DIVISION DOCKETS
JUNE 1ST, 2020

The previous directive issued on March 16th is now amended to confirm that, subject to the exceptions noted below, all matters in the Court of Queen’s Bench are adjourned until May 29th.  Matters that are adjourned will be rescheduled as soon as possible.  Matters that have been adjourned as a result of the COVID19 pandemic will receive priority in scheduling once court operations return to normal.  Matters currently scheduled before the Court of Queen’s Bench, to the extent possible, after June 1st, 2020 will proceed on the date originally assigned.  However, it is anticipated some matters may need to be moved once normal operations resume to accommodate priority matters that were adjourned during the crisis such as guardianship trials and criminal trials involving individuals in custody.  

SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES

The Court of Queen’s Bench will be hearing settlement conferences in certain cases between April 14th and May 29th where it is feasible for all parties and lawyers to participate via telephone.  These will be offered in cases where there was previously a settlement conference scheduled or where there was an adjournment of a trial and the lawyers feel that a settlement conference could be helpful in resolving the matter.  It is hoped that these remote settlement conferences may be successful in resolving matters which will then free up time on the docket for scheduling matters adjourned as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

FUTURE DIRECTIVES

Given the uncertainties surrounding how long the COVID 19 pandemic may impact the normal functioning of the Court of Queen’s Bench this directive may be subject to amendment.  The court will continue to update the public and the bar whenever there are changes made to the directives outlining how the court will function during the course of the crisis.

Contact information for e-filing

Judicial District of Moncton

Phone: (506) 856-2304
Fax: (506) 856-2951
Email :   mctnqbrequests@GNB.CA

Judicial District of Saint John

Trial Division
Phone: (506) 658-2560
Fax: (506) 658-5732
Email:  sjtrialdivision@gnb.ca   

Family Division
Phone: (506) 658-2400
Fax: (506) 658-3782
Email:  sjfamilyscheduling@gnb.ca   

Judicial District of Fredericton

Phone: (506) 453-2015
Fax: (506) 444-5675
Email:   Andrea Hull – andrea.hull@gnb.ca 
Stephanie Pond - stephanie.pond@gnb.ca

Judicial District of Woodstock

Phone: (506) 325-4414
Fax: (506) 325-4484
Email:  WoodstockCourt@gnb.ca

Judicial District of Bathurst

Phone: (506) 547-2150
Fax: (506) 547-2966
Email : ST-Bathurst-CS@gnb.ca

Judicial District of Campbellton

Phone: (506)789-2364
Fax: (506) 789-2062
Email: ST-Campbellton-CS@gnb.ca            

Judicial District of Edmundston

Phone : (506)735-2029
Fax : (506)737-4419
Email: Jean-francois.cyr@gnb.ca    

Judicial District of Miramichi

Phone: (506) 627-4023
Fax: (506) 627-4069
Email: Deloras.O’Neill@gnb.ca

Registrar’s Office

Phone : (506) 453-2452
Fax : (506) 453-7921
Email : Divorces : tanya.bergeron@gnb.ca
            Bankruptcies - bianca.caissie@gnb.ca

The Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick has introduced further modified procedures in support of the recently declared State of Emergency and to help contain the spread of COVID-19.  It replaces an earlier directive  issued March 15th and remains in effect until further notice.

IF YOU ARE A PARTY OR A WITNESS TO A CRIMINAL TRIAL

If you are a witness in a criminal trial that is scheduled in Provincial Court between March 23 and May 31, 2020, please note that you will be contacted before the scheduled trial date if the trial is being adjourned.  If you are not contacted you will be expected to attend as per the direction in your subpoena.  Should you need to contact Public Prosecution Services please see the contact numbers below;

Public Prosecutions Services Contacts

Region

 

Telephone Number

 

Campbellton

506-789-2308

 

Bathurst

506-547-2160

 

Caraquet

506-726-2794

 

Tracadie

506-394-3727

 

Miramichi

506-627-4015

 

Moncton

506-856-2310

 

Saint John

506-658-2580

 

Burton

506-357-4033

 

Fredericton

506-453-2819

 

Woodstock

506-325-4416

 

Edmundston

506-735-2027

 

If you are not in custody and have a criminal trial scheduled between March 23 and May 31, 2020, then unless a judge has ordered otherwise, your matter will be adjourned.

You must contact the Provincial Court by telephone, or email at the relevant court location in advance of your currently scheduled trial date for further instructions as to your next steps;

If you are not in custody and are scheduled for an appearance in Provincial Court for any other matter scheduled between March 23 and May 31, 2020, you must contact the Provincial Court by telephone, or email at the relevant court location in advance of currently scheduled trial date to schedule a telephone conference with the Judge.  You must not appear in person.

Provincial Court Office Contacts

REGION

TELEPHONE
NUMBER

E-MAIL
CRIMINAL MATTERS

Campbellton

506-789-2337

pc-campbellton@gnb.ca

Bathurst

506-547-2155

pc-bathurst@gnb.ca

Caraquet

506-726-2502

pc-caraquet@gnb.ca

Tracadie

506-394-3700

pc-tracadie@gnb.ca

Miramichi

506-627-4018

pc-miramichi@gnb.ca

Elsipogtog

506-523-4600

pc-elsipogtog@gnb.ca

Moncton

506-856-2307

mctnpcrequests@gnb.ca

Saint John

506-658-2568

pc-saintjohn@gnb.ca

Burton

506-357-4020

pc-burton@gnb.ca

Fredericton

506-453-2120

fredericton.provincialcourt@gnb.ca

Woodstock

506-325-4415

pc-woodstock@gnb.ca

Edmundston

506-735-2026

pc-edmundston@gnb.ca

Urgent Matters

Urgent matters will proceed unless adjourned by the Court on application by a party. Parties are asked to make use of videoconference technology where available and deemed appropriate by the presiding judge. In particular:

  • All proceedings for accused persons in custody, including bail hearings, trials, sentencing hearings, preliminary inquiries, and youth criminal sentence reviews will proceed as scheduled unless otherwise adjourned by the Court on apn by a party.   
  • All trials including trial continuation, sentencing hearings and decisions ( where a judge determines in advance that the matter is urgent) as well as  preliminary inquiries for persons not in custody will proceed as scheduled unless otherwise adjourned by the Court on application by a party;
  • All court filings and applications for judicial authorizations will proceed by telecommunication.  Section 490 Criminal Code applications will be heard by telecommunication; if contested, the Judge will decide if the matter is urgent and give further instructions as to how to proceed.

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