Current circumstances have led to the closure of Provincial Courts for all but urgent and essential matters. Effective June 1, 2020, the Provincial Court will permit some in-custody trials and in-custody preliminary inquiries to proceed in-person for urgent and essential matters, where all public health directives can be followed. For individuals not in custody, all trials and preliminary inquiries scheduled in June and July that involve an accused individual who is not in custody will be adjourned to a later date. You can apply for a lawyer for a trial matter at your nearest Legal Aid Office or online at https://www.nslegalaid.ca/online-application/.
If you have a matter for first appearance, plea, or other types of appearance in June and do not have a lawyer, Nova Scotia Legal Aid (NSLA) wishes to extend an invitation to contact NSLA for assistance with adjournments. NSLA can provide a one-time service to assist unrepresented individuals to obtain an adjournment of their matter. There is no financial assessment for this adjournment service.
In HRM, the best way to request assistance for an adjournment is to complete the online form at HRM Provincial Court Adjournment. The online form only gathers the information necessary to make a request to adjourn a court date on your behalf. Priority will be given to online requests for assistance.
In HRM, you can also apply for the adjournment service by calling 902-420-7800. Please leave a message with your full name, date of birth, and your upcoming court date and location. A representative will be in touch to confirm we can assist. Please try to contact NSLA with your request at least 2 days before your court date so we can ensure that counsel is available and advised of your request. While we will try to contact you with your new court date, it will still be your responsibility to find out your new date yourself by contacting NSLA or the courthouse where your case is being heard.
Individuals without a confirmed lawyer to appear for them should not attend court in person and must contact the courthouse for instructions. Information can be found in the Provincial Court directive: https://www.courts.ns.ca/News_of_Courts/documents/NSPC_Consolidated_Directive_COVID19_03_31_20.pdf
For individuals outside of Halifax/Dartmouth or seeking full-service representation, apply online or by telephone at their local NSLA Office if they wish to retain a lawyer and believe they may qualify for legal aid. A list of NSLA Offices can be found here: https://www.nslegalaid.ca/legal-aid-offices/