FREDERICTON (GNB) – Following a period of reduced service, courts across the province have now resumed full dockets.

“During the time when the courts were only dealing with urgent matters, due to COVID-19, the justice system has been working hard behind the scenes,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Andrea Anderson-Mason. “From the judiciary, to private and public sector lawyers, to government staff, I am proud of the work that has been accomplished to adjust to our new realities. It has allowed New Brunswick to be a leader in the reopening of its courts.”

While courts have returned to near normal dockets, it will not necessarily be business as usual. Alternative options for attending court, such as telephone or video conferencing for certain types of hearings, will remain in place.

“Court hearings can contain many variables and complications,” said Anderson-Mason. “We will continue to work with the judiciary and court participants to ensure that we can provide solutions deemed appropriate for matters to proceed. Since the courts are an essential component of our society, we must make adjustments and accommodations where possible to operate in this environment.”

Measures are in place, including physical distancing requirements, to ensure the safety of court participants.

Per the directives from the judiciary, courts continue to be restricted to participants who are necessary to the proceedings before the court. This includes counsel, accused, defendants, witnesses, complainants and/or victims, support workers and members of the media. The presiding judge may limit access to the courtroom as deemed appropriate.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been advised to self-isolate, are asked not to attend a courthouse for any reason. Individuals whose presence is required for a proceeding, and who are experiencing symptoms or are self-isolating, should inform the appropriate court in advance.

Counter services for all courts are once again available, but by appointment only.

A list of court contacts is available online.