Prince Edward Island Courts - COVID-19 Impacts

The Courts continue to take all steps directed by the Public Health Emergency to contain community spread. The Courts resumed hearing cases in early June. Cases are now heard by video, audio, and in person as appropriate.

Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal Practice Direction for electronic hearings issued May 1st, 2020 (Practice Direction 46) applies to video and audio hearings.

In-person hearings involve physical distancing and COVID-19 protocols remain in place.

Supreme Court

In March 2020, the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island suspended regular operations due to the COVID - 19 pandemic. Proceedings were limited to urgent, emergency or essential matters. This suspension of regular operations continued until the end of May.

In mid-May, with the easing of some restrictions related to COVID-19, the court expanded its operations, and proceeded with case management conference calls.  Recently, the court has also scheduled pre-motion conferences, pre-trial conferences, and settlement conferences (many of which are proceeding with the use of technology).

Effective June 15, 2020, the court will no longer be in the "urgent, emergency, or essential services" model. As such, parties will no longer have to establish a matter is urgent, an emergency or essential in order to proceed.  In-person hearings will be scheduled, provided the hearings can be conducted in accordance with established protocols to address COVID-19.  The court will continue to explore with counsel and the parties the option of utilizing technology to conduct hearings.

Court staff continue to encourage use of the drop box for filings. Filing in accordance with Practice Direction 46 (e-filing or filing by fax), remain as options.
The court has issued directives related to in-person hearings (In Person Hearing Directives), which may continue to be modified. These are posted and further updates will be posted on the court's website.

Supreme Court - Summerside

Be advised that effective June 29, 2020, due to the requirements for physical distancing and the limited space available at the Prince County Courthouse, all Supreme Court civil matters being heard in Summerside will take place at the Loyalist Country Inn, unless counsel is specifically advised otherwise by the court.  The court anticipates that criminal Supreme Court matters, where the accused is in custody, will be heard in the larger courtroom at the Prince County Courthouse, but will advise on a case by case basis if the location will be changed.

This will continue until the end of December and the Supreme Court will advise of any changes.

Minimize in-person contact

All members of the public are expected to follow the directions of the Chief Public Health Office. Any person who is subject to self-isolation or quarantine or is experiencing possible coronavirus / COVID-19 symptoms must not personally attend any courthouse.

In Person Court Hearings will be scheduled, provided the hearings can be conducted in accordance with established protocols to address COVID-19.  The court will continue to explore with counsel and the parties the option of utilizing technology to conduct hearings.

Questions about court appearances

Individuals who have questions about court appearances should first contact their lawyer. If an individual does not have a lawyer, or if further information is required, contact the following:

  • Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal: 902-368-6024
  • Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island: 902-368-6023

Filing court documents

Court staff continue to encourage use of the drop box for filings. Filing in accordance with Practice Direction 46 (e-filing or filing by fax), remain as options.

Documents sent for e-filing should be sent by email to scfiling@courts.pe.ca

Visit www.courts.pe.ca or contact the Registrar at 902-368-6669.

 

 

 

Published date: 
August 6, 2020
Justice and Public Safety

General Inquiries

Legal and Court Services Division
4th Floor, Shaw South
95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6522
Fax: 902-368-4563

legalservices@gov.pe.ca