Can I represent myself in court?

Yes, you are entitled to represent yourself.
For more information and materials you will need, go to REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN COURT >>

There are also additional materials and links to other useful websites under RESOURCES AND LINKS >>


I can't attend court (storm, hospital, child sick) - what do I do?

If you are represented by a lawyer, it is very important to immediately advise your lawyer if you are unable to attend a scheduled court appearance. If you do not have a lawyer, contact the court administration office as soon as possible to discuss what you can do. Changing a court date can be difficult but it is possible under certain conditions.


What will happen if I don't show up?

If you fail to appear for a court appearance, the court has several options. The judge may issue a warrant for your arrest, may proceed without you or may postpone the matter to another date.

In addition to the actions taken by the court, it is a criminal offence to fail to appear in court when required. You may be charged with the offence of failure to appear in court, and if you are convicted, you may be fined up to $2,000.00, imprisoned up to two years, or both.


How do I appeal that decision?

Appeals from a decision relating to a summary conviction matter must be filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and appeals from a decision relating to an indictable offence must be filed with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. The Appeal Court examines the decision of the trial court to determine if errors were made, and rarely hears new evidence. Appeals can be complicated and we strongly recommend you seek the assistance of a lawyer to file an appeal. Most appeals must be filed within thirty days of the decision you wish to appeal.


I am representing myself and need a witness to attend on my behalf.
How do I get that witness to attend?

A subpoena will require a person appear for the purpose a giving evidence, and may also be used to require a person to bring materials such a records or evidence with them. The subpoena form is available from the court administration office. When you have completed the document, it will be issued by the court administration office, and you must then arrange for a peace officer to serve the subpoena on the witness.


I now have a job and I need to be out past (the time specified on the release order).
How do I make an application to change the conditions?

If you are bound to comply with court ordered conditions, they can be changed only by a judge after a court application. If you wish to apply to the court to vary release conditions, contact the court administration office to arrange for an appearance to have the court consider your request.


Can anybody attend court ?

Members of the public, including the media, are welcome to attend all sessions of the courts except in those rare circumstances where legislation requires or a judge orders that a proceeding, or part of a proceeding, be held in private.
Click here for information on public/media ACCESS TO THE COURTS >>


Can I keep my name out of the newspaper?

Court proceedings are a matter of public record, and generally the media (Newspaper, TV, radio and websites) have the right to publish anything discussed in a court proceeding or filed in court documents, including names or other details. In rare cases, a judge may order that a name or some other detail may not be published. The judge will make this order only after hearing an application in court.