TO ALL LEGAL PRACTITIONERS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY DIVISIONS

This Notice is issued further to Notice No 32 issued on the 17th March, 2020.

In light of the most recent update provided by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday 18th April, 2020 which has extended the period of curfew for a further twenty-three (23) days until the 14th May, 2020, the High Court is required to implement the following measures with immediate effect for all Civil, Criminal and Family Cases scheduled for hearing during the period 21st April, 2020 – 14th May, 2020:-

CIVIL DIVISION

  • All matters in the Civil Division from the 21st April, 2020 to the 14th May, 2020 are adjourned administratively to dates to be fixed.  The parties are NOT required to attend the High Court and will be contacted individually in due course concerning re-scheduled dates for hearing.  
  • The High Court Registry will remain closed to the public until Thursday 14th May, 2020
  • Attorneys can continue to file Civil Cases and Probates on the E Litigation Portal during the closure of the High Court and so too all manual filing can continue to the email address “emergency.filings@ab.gov.ag” as previously advised.
  • All urgent applications filed either on the E Litigation Portal or by email to emergency.filings@ab.gov.ag including injunctions will be scheduled and heard via video link or teleconference during this period. 
  • Attorneys who have filed urgent applications must contact the Registrar or Deputy Registrars immediately upon filing so that the matter can be scheduled by means of a virtual hearing.

CRIMINAL DIVISION

  • As stated in the Press Release dated 16th April, 2020, the 2020 Criminal Assizes which was scheduled to commence on the 21st April, 2020 is adjourned with immediate effect.
  • All urgent applications filed on the E Litigation Portal including Bail Applications, Habeas Corpus Applications etc will be scheduled and heard via video link during this period.
  • The Chief Justice has issued a Practice Direction in respect of the filing of Bail Applications by Indigent or Unrepresented Persons during the period of lockdown.  Copies of the Bail Application Form have been made available to Her Majesty’s Prison and are available upon request from the High Court.
  • Sentences for convicted offenders will be scheduled during this period and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorneys will be notified individually in each case.

FAMILY DIVISION

  • All matters scheduled for hearing for the period 1st April, 2020 up to and including 24thApril 2020 in the Family Court will be re-scheduled for hearing during the month of June, 2020.  All litigants will receive formal notification of their rescheduled hearings in due course. 
  • All hearings scheduled from the 27th April will proceed as scheduled.
  • With immediate effect all services provided by the Family Court including filing of documents will be by appointment only.

Please contact the Family Court via telephone number 562-8598 between the hours of 8.30 am to 12 pm am from Monday to Friday or by email to “familycourt@ab.gov.ag” to arrange an appointment for assistance in respect of any service provided by the Family Court or for further information.

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