Information for Litigants

The following information is intended to assist litigants who already have or who would like to bring a matter before the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (Family Division). Note that proceedings in a court of law can be complicated and so you may wish to seek legal assistance. If you are unsuccessful in a proceeding, you may be ordered to pay some or all of the legal costs of the other party.

Representing yourself in Court

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project has produced a guide entitled “Coping with the Courtroom: Essential Tips and Information for Self-Represented Litigants” which can be viewed here . That guide may contain helpful information for persons representing themselves in this Court. Persons referring to this document should note that it was not prepared specifically for the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. The information contained within it is general in nature and may not reflect the specific practice in this Court. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Court’s Registry.

What Court Staff Can and Cannot Do

We can give you copies of Court forms and provide you with procedural information to help you fill out some of the forms.

  We cannot give you legal advice. It is strongly suggested that you seek legal advice before commencing a proceeding.
We can provide information on how to contact Legal Aid and other services where legal information is available.

  We cannot recommend the name of any lawyer to act on your behalf.
We can briefly explain and answer general questions about how the Court works, Court rules and the Court’s procedures
  We cannot tell you which procedure to use if there is a choice.
We can check your forms and other Court papers for completeness such as signatures, compliance with the Rules and that any cited attachments are present and properly signed.

  We cannot tell you what words to use in your Court documents.
We can tell you why we think that your documents do not comply with the Rules and give you an opportunity to make changes. You do not have to make the changes we suggest.

  We cannot tell you whether you have included sufficient information to get what you want.
We can give you basic information about mediation, applications or other Court hearings.

  We cannot tell you what to say in Court or how to make your legal arguments / submissions to a Judge.
We can give you procedural information about how your case is being managed and the process involved in each step along the way to having your case heard by the Court.

  We cannot tell you what the decision of the Court will be or give you any opinion about what it might be.
We can answer general questions about deadlines.

  We cannot calculate deadlines for you.
We can provide procedural information on how to get a case set down for hearing.

  We cannot interpret orders made by a Judge.
We can give you information about interpreters and Court reporters.

  We cannot change an order that has been made by a Judge.
We can serve as a Commissioner of Oaths to swear/affirm any affidavits prepared by you, to be filed in the Court.   We cannot communicate with a judge for you or allow you to communicate with a judge at any time other than at your Court hearing.

We can get a copy of a document in a Court file for you for a fee if there are no restrictions on accessing the file.

  We cannot find a precedent of a document for you.
We can give you information about your file