Prince Edward Island Courts - COVID-19 Impacts
Due to the presence of Covid-19, the Prince Edward Island courts are taking all steps directed by the Public Health Emergency to contain community spread.
Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of PEI
The courts remain accessible. However, in order to protect the health of members of the public and court staff, court services are presently minimized. Only urgent and emergency hearings and document filing can occur. Use of technology is being maximized. In-person attendances are reduced to "as necessary" only. Individuals are requested to use the courts' electronic services and refrain from coming to a courthouse in person except when necessary.
Our public courts are an essential public service. Courts cannot close. As the third branch of government, access by members of the public to an independent and impartial judiciary is vital to our Canadian democracy. This is especially important in the presence of a public health emergency. Therefore, continuity of service is being maintained and is assured. The courts remain open for urgent or essential court matters; however, subject to strict measures to minimize in-person attendances. When a required personal attendance does occur, the social distancing of two meters must be respected.
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.
Most court proceedings are adjourned
Individuals with matters scheduled before a court should contact their lawyer. If an individual does not have lawyer, contact court staff to seek directions prior to attending court facilities.
All in-person court appearances, other than for urgent or emergency matters, are suspended
until further notice.
Urgent matters will continue to be heard, using technology in a manner determined appropriate by the court, including hearings by way of telephone or video appearance.
Filing court documents
On a very limited basis, lawyers and parties may continue to file documents at the courthouses. Personal filing through the courts' drop box system is limited to urgent or necessary documents to meet a required time line, or other documents that reasonably necessitate in-person filing.
All other document filing should be by email at email@example.com
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
Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island
In order to protect the health and safety of all Court users and help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island is reducing court operations while ensuring meaningful access to the Court for those with urgent matters.
Effective March 20, 2020, and until further notice, access to Provincial Courts in Prince Edward Island will be restricted to only those persons who are necessary to the proceedings before the Court. This will include counsel, accused, witnesses, support workers, and members of the media. Those who are required to attend Court in person are expected to follow the recommendations of the Chief Health Office, including social distancing.
Priority will be given to dealing with urgent matters where the accused person is in custody. Other matters will be adjourned by use of telephone, audio or videoconferencing, as required. For those persons who are represented by a lawyer, the lawyer will appear by telephone to adjourn the case.
For those accused persons who are not represented by a lawyer, contact the Provincial Court in advance of their scheduled court date to obtain a new date:
- Call 902-368-6693 for Charlottetown
- Call 902-888-8187 for Summerside
Those who have matters scheduled before the Provincial Court between March 23, 2020 and May 31, 2020 should visit the Provincial Court website at www.courts.pe.ca for further details on how these matters will be dealt with and for updates as the situation develops.