Parish courts are undertaking several measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. Effective Monday, all sittings and hearings, except matters deemed fit for hearing by the judge, will be suspended for four weeks. A recent meeting with senior judges from parish courts led to these newer measures being enforced to ensure the safety of those concerned. It is one means of discouraging public gatherings and promoting social distancing.
“Information concerning matters which were to be heard during this period March 23 and April 17, 2020 will be published at the courts in the printed press and the websites,” says Acting Director of Client Services at the Court Administration Division, Kadeish Fletcher.
Some matters, however, will be treated as emergency.
“Matters in relation to domestic violence, maintenance collections and payments, breaches of the quarantine act and matters involving children will always be treated as emergency matters,” says Fletcher.
In a release from the Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, he notes that no trials will take place for civil matters. However, judgments in default may continue within the discretion of the judge having regard to all the circumstances. Senior Parish Court Judges have been advised to put in schedule in place to ensure reduced service for members of the public. They must coordinate their schedules to ensure someone is always available for emergency matters arising in the Family court.
Sykes notes that all persons on bail will have their bail extended until their next court date, which will be announced on our websites and through the press.
For those who have applied for spirit licenses, they will be advised of the outcome of the application via phone. Counseling matters will also be heard via phone.
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