Court

Court cases put on hold

All Magistrates’ Court and Supreme Court cases have been put on hold as part of measures to fight the spread of Covid-19, it was announced yesterday.

A letter sent to lawyers from the Supreme Court said: “Both the Magistrates’ Court and the Supreme Court of Bermuda are in operation, but reduced services and limited access is being implemented.

“The judiciary has successfully reduced the number of matters where persons are required to attend court, thus limiting the interactions between the public and staff.”

It added that all cases scheduled for Magistrates’ Court would be “adjourned administratively to a date to be fixed” from today.

The letter said: “The parties are not required to attend the Magistrates’ Court and will be contacted in due course concerning the date they are required to attend for the matter to be heard.”

It added that the court would be closed for filings and the cashiers desk would also be shut down until April 6.

The letter said that parties involved in time-sensitive cases should contact the court immediately.

New applications earlier filed that have not been given first- return dates will be issued, but will not be provided with a date before July 1.

All hearings in the Supreme Court have been adjourned until April 3 and the Supreme Court Registries will be closed until April 6.

Parties involved in time-sensitive cases should e-mail supremecourt@gov.bm.

The letter added that until April 3 “only new applications that are urgent and/or responses on urgent active applications with the Probate Division may be submitted to supremecourt@gov.bm.”

The letter told lawyers: “You will be advised when original hard copies can be filed.”

It said that the filing of pleadings by e-mail would not be accepted “unless the parties have been directed to do so by the Judicial Department”.

Searches of the Cause Book have also been suspended unless the search is urgent. Applications for a search, with reasons, must be made to supremecourt@gov.bm.

The letter added that the court’s delivery service was also suspended.

It said: “We will continue to review and monitor the above precautionary measures and whether they should be extended and/or expanded, and the public will be advised concerning any changes.”

A government spokeswoman said that anyone with Traffic Court dates between March 26 and May 28 should contact the Court Liaison Officer on 247-1781 or e-mail clumail@bps.bm to reschedule.

The letter added contact information for the court divisions:

• civil matters — civil@gov.bm

• criminal matters — records@gov.bm

• family matters — child support@gov.bm