In-person hearings suspended.

COVID-19 situation being assessed by Supreme Court.

DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 3, 2020

All ‘in person’ hearings have been suspended until further notice.

“These updated directions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic are in addition to the Supreme Court of Judicature Practice Directions COVID-19 Emergency Directions, Gazetted on 23rd March, 2020.” The Supreme Court stated in a media release.

With immediate effect the court said these measures will be in place lasting until April 24, 2020.

Following which the court will conduct periodic review and assessment of the evolving COVID-19 situation in the country and make necessary changes where necessary.

The media release outlined that Operation of the Supreme Registries; Court Offices and Departments, court registries, offices and departments will be open to the public on specific days from 8.30 am – 12.30 pm; April 7 and 9, 2020, April 14 and 16, 2020 and April 20 and 24, 2020.

Further, filing of urgent matters or pleadings for the Court of Appeal and High Courts as directed by the court must be done by email in accordance with paragraphs 30 – 33 of the Emergency Practice Directions.

Those emails are; Judicial Registry, High Court, Georgetown –, Sub-Registry, New Amsterdam High Court –, Sub-Registry, Suddie, Essequibo –, Family Court Registry, High Court, Georgetown –, Land Court, High Court, Georgetown –, Probate Registry, High Court, Georgetown –

Additionally, in accordance with Part 7:02 of the Civil Procedure Rules, 2016, all Fixed Date Applications must be served by the applicants.

At the Magistrates Court, during the period April 6 – 24, 2020, magistrates will be holding court and magistrates’ courts offices will be open to the public on specific days from 8.30 am – 12.30 pm.

Those days listed are:

    • Georgetown Magisterial District – Mondays and Thursdays
    • Diamond/Golden Grove – Mondays and Wednesdays
    • Berbice Magisterial District – New Amsterdam, Tuesdays & Thursdays,
    • Corentyne Magisterial District –Whim, Mondays & Thursdays,
    • West Berbice Magisterial District – Fort Wellington, Mondays & Wednesdays,
    • East Demerara Magisterial District –Vigilance, Mondays & Fridays,
    • West Demerara Magisterial District – Vreed-en-hoop, Mondays & Thursdays,
    • Upper Demerara River Magisterial District –Linden, Mondays & Fridays,
    • Essequibo Magisterial District – Suddie, Mondays & Fridays
    • Rupununi Magisterial District –Lethem, Mondays & Thursdays

The Court said filing of all urgent court matters must be on the dates the court offices will be open. And in the event that urgent matters need to be filed on the days when the court offices are not open, contact can be made with the clerks of court for those particular magisterial districts.

Notices with contact information, the court stated, will be posted at each court office.

Mediation sessions have also been suspended until further notice and visits at the Child Friendly Room of the High Court, Demerara, have been suspended as well until further notice.

Additionally, access and visits may be arranged by counsel and/or the parties utilising the telephone or electronic means such as WhatsApp, Zoom, facetime and Skype.