Supreme Court updates COVID-19 measures
DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 6, 2020
The Supreme Court of Judicature has updated it Practice Directions COVID-19 Emergency Directions which was gazette on 23rd March, 2020/
In a media release issued on April 6, The Supreme Court stated that “the following measures outlined herein will take immediate effect and are to be complied with unto May 3, 2020.”
The media release outlined that Operation of the Supreme Court Registry in Georgetown, Demerara and the Sub-registries at New Amsterdam, Berbice and Suddie, Essequibo are suspended until April 30, 2020. Unless otherwise advised, these registries will reopen to the public on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Further, filing of urgent matters or pleadings for the Court of Appeal and High Courts as directed by the court, until May 3, 2020, must be done by email in accordance with paragraphs 30 – 33 of the Emergency Practice Directions.
Those emails are; Judicial Registry, High Court, Georgetown – firstname.lastname@example.org, Sub-Registry, New Amsterdam High Court – email@example.com, Sub-Registry, Suddie, Essequibo – firstname.lastname@example.org, Family Court Registry, High Court, Georgetown – email@example.com, Land Court, High Court, Georgetown – firstname.lastname@example.org, Probate Registry, High Court, Georgetown – email@example.com
Additionally, litigants and/or their counsel must file an agreement to present hard copies of their matters and pay the requisite filing fees on the date designated by the Registry, which shall be on or after May 4, 2020.
It was noted that May 1 and May 5, 2020 are national holidays.
At the Magistrates Court, during the period April 6 – 30, 2020, magistrates will be holding court utilising electronic means – Zoom, Skype or Whatsapp Video – and Magistrates’ courts offices will be open to the public on the following days from 8.30 am – 12.30 pm.
Those days listed are:
- Georgetown Magisterial District – GMC – Mondays and Thursdays
- Georgetown Magisterial District -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.
The Supreme Court will conduct regular reviews and assessments of the COVID-19 pandemic where necessary and their direction will be changed as is deemed necessary.
For persons seeking clarification, queries or additional information on sittings of the courts contact can be made with the Registrar/Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Chief Magistrate, or the Principal Clerk of Court on telephone numbers:
High Court, Demerara – 226-7947; Chief Magistrate – 624-8910; Registrar of the Supreme Court – 227-1223; Secretary to the Registrar of the Supreme Court – 226-8487; Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court – 225-7771; Principal Clerk of Court – 616-0231.
Or by email to: Registrar of the Supreme Court – firstname.lastname@example.org; Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court email@example.com; Supreme Court COVID 19 Response Team -firstname.lastname@example.org; Chief Justice’s Chambers – email@example.com; Court of Appeal – firstname.lastname@example.org.