COVID-19 and the Department of Justice and Public Safety

Information about programs and services
April 3, 2020

• The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to transparency during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

• The Department of Justice and Public Safety will continue to provide regular updates to the public and our clients regarding disruptions or delays to programs and services.

• Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our employees and our clients.

• The Provincial Government will continue to monitor and where necessary implement protocols required to contain the virus. For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19

 

Policing

RNC
All Royal Newfoundland Constabulary locations are closed to the public for non-emergencies until further notice. If you have an emergency, please dial 9-1-1. To report a non-emergency or if you have a general inquiry call your local detachment.

RCMP
RCMP Newfoundland and Labrador has temporarily suspended non-urgent front counter services at RCMP Headquarters in St. John’s and all detachments. Reports of crime and motor vehicle collisions should be done by phoning your detachment. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

Law Courts

Courts in Newfoundland and Labrador are operating with restrictions. Detailed information is available at www.court.nl.ca

Family Justice Services

Family Justice Services offers services that assist families in resolving custody, access or child support issues outside of the court process. While offices are currently closed to public access during the current COVID-19 situation, you may call the main office nearest you, during regular office hours, and your call will be returned within 48 hours.

These are challenging times and many families are seeking information relating to custody and access orders issued by the courts as well as agreements. The current COVID-19 situation does not change the court order or agreement and it is not a reason to deny parenting time. Court orders and agreements cannot be varied unless by mutual consent of the parties or by further order of the court.

For further information for families with a custody, access or support order or agreement during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit Family Justice Services or call 709-729-1183 (Avalon); 709-256-1205 (Central); or 709-634-4174 (Western/Labrador).

Support Enforcement

The Support Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice and Public Safety performs a number of services related to the collection and distribution of court-ordered funds for support, maintenance or alimony. Payors who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to continue paying support. Staff are working on requests on a first come first serve basis. To discuss your file contact them directly at seps@gov.nl.ca. Due to the high volume of requests and reduced staffing, please allow 3-5 business day for a response.

For more information about support payments please visit the Support Enforcement Agency.

Victim Services

Victim Services Offices throughout the province are closed to the public. There will be no in-person staff/client contact at this time. Staff are working remotely to provide limited services such as updates to victims for court-related matters and assisting with safety planning for individuals at risk.

Staff are checking voicemail and email during regular working hours. Requests will be returned based on priority and need. To contact an office near you go to www.victimserviceshelp.ca. In the event of an emergency call 9-1-1. If you require emotional support call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668.

Legal Aid

Until further notice, Legal Aid NL will only be accepting applications for urgent criminal, family or child protection matters. Legal Aid offices are closed to the public so there will be no in-person appointments at this time. If you require urgent assistance please call 1-800-563-9911 for further direction.

Corrections

Visitation and programming offered by external facilitators has been temporarily suspended at correctional facilities.

Probation

For precautionary measures probation offices are currently closed to the public. During this closure emails are not being monitored. Staff are monitoring voicemails hourly and will be responding to calls of an urgent nature. If you are currently being supervised by an Adult Probation Officer, you are instructed to continue to report by phone. If you have just received a new Court Order, you are required to call your Probation Officer for further reporting instructions. Phone numbers are posted at each Probation location, and the main line numbers can be found here. Voicemail will be accepted as phone reports in lieu of office reports until further notice.

Fines Administration

Walk-in services are no longer available at the Fines Administration office. To discuss a payment agreement call 729-4156. To pay a fine by phone using a credit card call 729-0349 or pay online. General inquiries can be made by calling 729-0346 or by emailing finesadministration@gov.nl.ca. Response times may be delayed due to staff availability.

Office of the Public Trustee

The Office of the Public Trustee is closed to public access until further notice. Staff are working on a limited capacity, performing essential services only.

Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission is closed to the public. There will be no front-desk support or any in-person appointments, meetings or hearings at this time. Commission staff are working from home with limited access to email and phone. You can email the person assigned to your file or send general questions to humanrights@gov.nl.ca. Online forms are still available at www.thinkhumanrights.ca

ATIPP

Due to Covid-19, government departments are currently focused on maintaining critical services. At this time, departments do not have the capacity to process access to information requests within the legislated timelines. Therefore, if you submit a request during this time, there will be delays in responding. Should you have any questions email ATIPPoffice@gov.nl.ca Staff are working remotely with limited access, inquiries will be prioritized and responded to as capacity allows.