Courts of Nova Scotia graphic and NS Crest


The material contained in this website is provided for information purposes only and is notintended to constitute legal advice. The information in this section is intended to provide aQestion 8 Question 8 general overview only. The Rules and procedures governing the appeal process set out in the Civil Procedure Rules are complicated. People considering appealing a lower court decision to the Court of Appeal should consider obtaining legal advice.


Civil Wedding Ceremonies in Nova Scotia - How do I find information on Civil Wedding Ceremonies in Nova Scotia?

Weddings in Nova Scotia are governed by the Solemnization of Marriage Act. COurthouses do not issue marriage licenses. However, staff can provide you with the addresses of the sites where you can obtain a licence.
Any issuer of marriage licences or a Justice Center can provide a list of those persons authorized to perform civil wedding ceremonies (generally, Judges or Justices of the Peace). If you want your ceremony to be performed in a courthouse, please contact one of the
Province's courthouses.

See the Department of Justice's web site for more information on Civil Wedding Ceremonies.


Court decision - Can I appeal a court decision or verdict?

Yes. You may appeal any court decision. Note that an appeal is not a re-trial of the case. The appeal court determines if the law was applied correctly in the original case.


Court records - Are all records of court proceedings available to the Public?

For the most part yes. See Guidelines

There are exceptions, such as Youth Court records.
See Guidelines


Document Searches - How can I research publicly available records?

Unfortunately, the Court's documents are not yet available in electronic form. All searches are manual, requiring a review of any files the title of which contains the name in question. There are 10 judicial districts in the province. If a province wide search is required, it must be a manual search in each of the 10 offices. We do not have sufficient court staff to perform this type of search. Additionally, any such search would reveal the name sought only if it appears in the file name, i.e.: if the person was a party to a legal action at the time it was commenced. It would not produce all files in which the person sought to be identified was involved in the action but not a party - for example, as a witness, or a file where the person was added as a party after the file was named. For these reasons the person requiring the search normally retains an agent law firm in Nova Scotia to conduct the search. It can be done by individuals who are prepared to attend at the various judicial sites and go through the manual index. On the other hand if a request comes for copies of materials on a certain file and the requestor can provide the file number from which they require documents, the court staff will provide, at a cost, the specific copies.


Divorce Orders, Corollary Relief Orders, and Certificates of Divorce - What are the differences between these documents and how do I obtain certified copies of these documents?

A Divorce Order is an order signed by a Justice of the Supreme Court. It indicates the date the divorce has been granted and also refers to any name change you may have requested. The divorce does not become final until 31 days after the date of this Order and only then if there is no appeal of the granting of the Divorce Order. If the Divorce Order is appealed, then the divorce is not final until the appeal is disposed of by the Appeal Court.
A Corollary Relief Order is a separate order signed by a Justice of the Supreme Court. It deals with matters other than the divorce itself such as custody and access of children, child and/or spousal maintenance and the division of any joint assets. If you and your spouse reached agreement on some or all of these issues your agreement may be attached. The appeal of the only Corollary Relief Order does not delay the finalization of the Divorce. Once your divorce is final, in other words, either 31 days after the granting of the Divorce Order or after the appeal has been finalized, the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court will issue a Certificate of Divorce. This is the proof that your divorce is final. If you wish to re-marry you will need to have a Certificate of Divorce.

If you have a question or need a copy of a divorce order issued in Halifax, contact the main switchboard at (902) 424-3990. For information on divorce orders granted outside of the Halifax Regional Municipality, please refer to the district courthouses.


Jury duty - I have been summoned for jury duty. What do I do?

There is a section offering Jury Duty Information on this website. Or see the navigation panel on the top left of this page.


Notice to appear in court - I have received a notice to appear in court. Where do I go?

The address should appear prominently on the notice. If the location appears unfamiliar to you then you can find all contact information under Court Locations on this website. There are 11 Centres in the province. Clicking on the one nearest you on the map will give you the address, contact person and phone number for the court you need to contact.


Provincial Court and Supreme Court - What is the difference between Provincial Court and Supreme Court?

Provincial Court deals exclusively with criminal matters and hears about 95% of all criminal trials. All criminal proceedings dealing with offenders aged sixteen or over commence in Provincial Court.

The Supreme Court has a wider jurisdiction, an in addition to certain criminal trials hears lawsuits, divorces, property disputes and administers the Bankruptcy Act.


Representing yourself - Can I represent myself in court?

You are entitled to represent yourself in legal proceedings (except in Bankruptcy court where you act through a Trustee). If you intend to do so you may find the section on Representing Yourself useful.

For information on a specific court click on the appropriate link at the top of this page.