April 7 2020 Covid-19 Public Health Emergency - Messages from Chief Justices

April 7 2020

Message from the Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

Updated Notice to the Profession, the Public and the Media regarding court operations -  COVID - 19

Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal and

Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

Updated April 7, 2020 (update to Messages of March 18 and March 24, 2020)

The Courts continue to take all steps directed by the Public Health Emergency to contain community spread. The Courts remain accessible, for urgent, emergency or essential matters, and mostly by audio and video means.

Supreme Court

On March 18, the Supreme Court suspended regular operations, due to the COVID - 19 pandemic. Since that time, the Court has only heard urgent, emergency or essential matters.

While it is impossible to predict when the Court will be in a position to resume regular operations, in all likelihood it will not be for some time. Between now and the end of May, the Supreme Court will not be hearing any matters (other than urgent, emergency or essential). This includes previously scheduled case management conference calls, pre-motion conferences, settlement conferences, pre-trial conferences and trials. The Court will continue to hear urgent, emergency or essential matters, in accordance with the process outlined in the Prothonotary's Notice of April 1, 2020. The status of the Court's operations will be assessed on an ongoing basis.

The Court continues to operate with a skeleton staff, including for filing purposes. Everyone is reminded to only file documents that are necessary to be filed, for example, documents related to matters that have been deemed by the triage process to be urgent, emergency or essential, or documents required to comply with filing deadlines or limitation periods. In addition , with a view to respecting the directions of the Chief Public Heath Office and social distancing, everyone is reminded of the availability of e-filing and filing by fax, as set out in Practice Direction 46 dated March 20, 2020.

Court of Appeal

Between now and the end of May, no new appeals will be scheduled, except regarding appeals or motions assessed by the Court to be urgent, essential or emergency. Regarding appeals for which pre­-hearing filings were complete before March 13th and were scheduled to be heard between now and the end of May, a pre-hearing telephone conference will be arranged to explore the potential of a hearing by telephone or video or a decision based on the written facts alone.

The judiciary and court staff continue to appreciate the cooperation of all as we continue to deal with this pandemic.

Chief Justice David H. Jenkins

Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal

Chief Justice Tracey L. Clements

Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island