Civil Procedure Rules of Nova Scotia  
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Part 17 - Administration

Rule 84 - Court Records

Scope of Rule 84
84.01   This Rule provides for maintenance and control of court documents, records of proceedings, and recordings of trials and hearings.
       
Civil proceedings index
84.02 (1) The prothonotaries must maintain a single index of information on all civil proceedings.
  (2) When a proceeding is started, the prothonotary must enter in the civil proceedings index the following information:
   
(a)
the registry number, which is made up of the registry code in Rule 32 - Place of Proceeding, followed by the divorce registration number in a divorce application, followed by the proceeding number;
   
(b)
the name of each party, and the party’s title in the proceeding, and the name of counsel, if any, who represents the party;
   
(c)
the title of the originating document;
   
(d)
the date the proceeding is started.
  (3) The information must be entered in the civil proceedings index and maintained in a way that allows court staff, counsel, the parties, and members of the public to be able to readily find entries about the proceeding.
  (4) The prothonotary must enter, under the index entry for a proceeding, each of the following:
   
(a)
information about a document that is subsequently filed in the proceeding, including the name of the person on whose behalf a document is filed, the title of the document, and the date it is filed;
   
(b)
the scheduled and actual time, date, and place of each motion heard by a judge in the proceeding, except motions made orally during the trial of an action or hearing of a proceeding and motions made to the judge without a court reporter being present;
   
(c)
the scheduled and actual time, date, and place of a trial or hearing, the days reserved for the trial or hearing, and the actual days of trial or hearing;
   
(d)
the outcome of a motion, trial, or hearing;
   
(e)
information about a document filed by the court in the proceeding, such as a decision or a notice of prothonotary’s motion, including the title of the document and the date it is filed;
   
(f)
information about an instrument issued by the court in the proceeding, such as an order or a release of judgment, including the title of the instrument and the date it is issued.
       
Recording
84.03 (1) The prothonotary must ensure that court reporters and equipment are available to make an audio-recording of each of the following, or immediately make a report to the Chief Justice when the situation is otherwise:
   
(a)
the trial of an action;
   
(b)
the hearing of a proceeding;
   
(c)
the hearing of a motion;
   
(d)
a conference held on record;
   
(e)
any other business of the court conducted on record.
  (2) A court reporter must, unless the presiding judge permits otherwise, log the time and subject of each of the following:
   
(a)
the commencement, adjournment, resumption, and finish;
   
(b)
a decision, ruling, or direction;
   
(c)
a motion made orally or an objection;
   
(d)
a discussion between counsel, or a party who acts on their own behalf, and the judge;
   
(e)
opening of a party’s case, closing the case, and rebuttal;
   
(f)
swearing or affirming of a witness, direct examination, cross-examination, re-direct examination, examination by the judge, further examination, and excusing of the witness;
   
(g)
entry of an exhibit;
   
(h)
submissions.
  (3) The time and subject of each of the following must be logged additionally during a trial with a jury:
   
(a)
opening of jury selection and the judge’s instructions to the jury panel;
   
(b)
hearing a request to be excused from the panel, including the name and panel number of the person making the request;
   
(c)
calling the proceeding to be tried;
   
(d)
jury selection, including the calling of a panel member, a peremptory challenge, the conduct of a challenge for cause, and the selection of a juror;
   
(e)
adjournment or discharge of the jury panel;
   
(f)
the oath or affirmation of jurors;
   
(g)
roll calls or statements by the judge or court reporter that all jurors are present;
   
(h)
excluding the jury for a motion or objection, and the return of the jury;
   
(i)
instructions to the jury, an order for sequestration, and retirement of the jury for deliberations;
   
(j)
a discussion about a jury question, return of the jury, and the instruction;
   
(k)
a verdict or answers by the jury;
   
(l)
discharge of the jury.
       
Exhibits
84.04 (1) The prothonotary must keep control of an exhibit, except a presiding judge may temporarily take custody of an exhibit after notifying the prothonotary.
  (2) The prothonotary may, unless a judge orders otherwise, return an exhibit to a party on whose motion the exhibit was entered, or who filed an affidavit to which the exhibit was attached, no sooner than six months after the day that one of the following occurs:
   
(a)
expiry, without an appeal having been started, of the time for appeal to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal from the order that finally determines all issues in the proceeding;
   
(b)
expiry, without an application having been made for leave to appeal, of the time for making an application to the Supreme Court of Canada after the appeal of an order in the proceeding to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal;
   
(c)
dismissal by the Supreme Court of Canada of an application for leave to appeal;
   
(d)
final determination by the Supreme Court of Canada.
  (3) A judge who is satisfied that an exhibit cannot be returned to a party may order that the exhibit be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by, or under the supervision of, the prothonotary.
  (4) A judge may order that an exhibit be turned over to a person temporarily or permanently.
       
Control by the court of documents offsite
84.05 (1) The prothonotary may make arrangements with the Province of Nova Scotia for the civil proceedings index, an audio recording, or a log to be maintained electronically in a computer owned and operated by the province.
  (2) Arrangements for computer services by the province must be such that access to the information is exclusively through the prothonotary as provided in Rule 85 - Access to Court Records, which restriction extends to an employee of the province who is not a prothonotary or a member of court staff authorized by the prothonotary.
  (3) The prothonotary must report to the court annually about arrangements for computer services by the province and compliance with Rule 85.
       

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