The information below explains the law and court procedures in a general way.
As each person's case is different, the information provided is not intended as legal advice.

READ FULL DISCLAIMER STATEMENT >>

General Information

FREE LEGAL CLINICS

Free legal advice in private, one-hour sessions for self-represented litigants dealing with certain types of cases in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal.

MORE INFO >>

 

FREE GUEST WI-FI ACCESS

Most NS courthouses now offer FREE guest Wi-Fi access for lawyers, self-represented individuals and others visiting the building. Check at the front counter and a temporary user name and password will be provided.

PLEASE NOTE

Users must follow the policies for using electronic devices in courthouses and courtrooms.

READ THE POLICIES HERE >>

Legal proceedings can be very complex, not only what goes on in the courtroom, but also the process leading up to the court appearance. As well, each type and level of court has different procedures and forms. For example, the CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES OF NOVA SCOTIA >> govern proceedings in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court (including its Family Division).

The following page is a collection of the information available on this and other websites which may be of assistance if you are planning to represent yourself in court.

Brochures with step-by-step instructions, frequently asked questions, and examples of court forms for each type and level of court are available on this website. Simply go to the drop-down menu at the top of this page and select "Level or Type of Court" and choose the option that applies to your situation.

There is also more specific information and practical materials of use to self-represented litigants in this website's section FOR THE LEGAL PROFESSION >>

For example:

  1. How to order a CD of the audio recording of your trial ... ORDER A CD >>
  2. How to apply for a publication ban in your case ...PUBLICATION BANS >>
  3. Access to court decisions for cases that may be similar to yours ... DECISIONS OF THE COURTS >>

Family Law Practice Tips

Justice Douglas C. Campbell  of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Family Division regularly published Family Law Practice Tips for lawyers. Justice Campbell presided in the Supreme Court Family Division for more than 15 years. He was also a senior Family Law Practitioner in Halifax when he was appointed to the Bench.

These practice tips are indended to help Family Law lawyers who appear in the Supreme Court throughout the Province. However, they may also be of help to litigants who are representing themselves in the Court.

Click here to access Justice Campbell's FAMILY LAW PRACTICE TIPS >>

"Going to Court: Self-Represented Parties in Family Law Matters"  - A Workbook

If you are planning to go to court on your own, there are things you can do to help yourself prepare and present your case. A good place to start is by reading this "GOING TO COURT" WORKBOOK >>

It contains information about:
~
getting legal advice
~
proving your case
~
what the court hearing process is like
~
what happens at the end of the court hearing
To help you to prepare your case, it also contains WORKSHEETS AND CHECKLISTS >>


This workbook is a collaborative effort of the Nova Scotia Judiciary, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice Court Services Division, and Nova Scotia Legal Aid. It is found on the NOVA SCOTIA FAMILY LAW WEBSITE >>

NEW: The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has introduced this helpful GUIDE >> to make a motion for state-appointed counsel in child protection matters. This step is available only to those litigants who have been denied Legal Aid representation.

How to appeal a decision to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has several resources avialable for people who want to represent themselves in appealing a decision of another Court or Tribunal. The following resources can help with preparing your appeal:

HOW TO APPEAL A CRIMINAL LAW DECISION >>

HOW TO APPEAL A CIVIL LAW DECISION >>

WATCH A VIDEO TUTORIAL ON CIVIL APPEALS >> The Courts also other a video tutorial on how to prepare an appeal book HERE >>

Representing Yourself in Small Claims Court

BRIDGEWATER PUBLIC NAVIGATOR PILOT PROJECT

The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia offers FREE legal information sessions with a trained team of navigators that can help you decide whether to go to Small Claims Court, assist in filing your forms and provide tips on how to prepare.

LEARN MORE >>

HALIFAX SMALL CLAIMS COURT
PILOT PROJECT

LISNS recently launched a pilot project at the Small Claims Court in Halifax. For the month of November 2017, volunteer law students from the Schulich School of Law will provide prospective litigants with in-person assistance at the courthouse.

LEARN MORE >>

Everyone is entitled to represent themselves in the Courts. That includes the Small Claims Court, which provides a timely, less formal and reasonably cost-effective forum for the resolution of certain types of claims, to a maximum of $25,000. This Court also functions as the initial forum for appeals from decisions of Residential Tenancy Officers affecting both tenants and landlords, and disputes between lawyers and their clients regarding fees and other financial issues.

The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia has developed resources to help prospective litigants considering an action or who are representing themselves in Small Claims Court. Click on the links below for help preparing your action:

SMALL CLAIMS COURT APP >>

7 IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO WHEN PRESENTING YOUR CASE >>
(available in text and audio)

INFORMATION BROCHURE >>
Guide des Informations Générales

USING A SUBPOENA IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT >>
Utiliser une assignation à la Cour des petites créances (Formulaire 3)

ENFORCING A COURT ORDER >>
Exécution d'une ordonnance rendue par
la Cour des petites créances

The Courts of Nova Scotia also offer an INTERACTIVE SMALL CLAIMS COURT WEBSITE>> that enables prospective litigants to fill out Small Claims Court forms online, save the forms and print them when you are ready to file your action with the Court.

Legal Resources in Canada and Nova Scotia

VIDEOS

The Nova Scotia Department of Justice has produced a number of videos to assist Nova Scotians in preparing their case and appearing in court.

PRESENTING YOUR CASE IN COURT >> Representing Yourself in the Family Division of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (13:18)

YOUR DAY IN COURT >>
Representing Yourself in the Family Division, Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (10:08)

(Les vidéos sont disponibles en anglais seulement)

CANADA'S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WEBSITE >> provides general information about the country's laws, the justice system, and the Courts.

LLRX.COM >> provides information and links to print and online resources which will give you an excellent overview of how the Canadan legal system operates.

NOVA SCOTIA'S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WEBSITE >> offers more specific information for self-represented litigants including:
~ tips for representing yourself in court
~ self-help information guides
~ answers to frequently asked questions
~ information about, and links to, court forms
~ contact and other information about the Province's in-person family law information centres

Ces renseignements sont disponibles en français - Le site en français >>

THE FAMILY LAW NOVA SCOTIA WEBSITE >> offers information relating to the law, the processes, and the services that make up family law in Nova Scotia. It will help you understand your family law issue and will provide tools to help solve your problem.

THE LEGAL INFORMATION SOCIETY OF NOVA SCOTIA WEBSITE >> offers a wide variety of general and specific information about Canada's and Nova Scotia's laws, the Province's justice system, and the courts. In addition "LISNS" provides specific legal information over the phone. And it offers a lawyer referral service which can provide preliminary legal advice for a small flat fee.

LISNS LAWYER REFFERAL SERVICE >> connects you with lawyers in private practice from across the province who are registered with the LISNS Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer in your area who works with the kind of law you need. The lawyer you are referred to will see you for up to a half hour for a set fee of $20 (plus taxes). During this half hour you will be able to discuss your problem with the lawyer and get an idea of what your options are and the costs involved.

NOTE:

In certain limited circumstances you may qualify for a government funded lawyer.

For more information, go to:

DALHOUSIE LEGAL AID SERVICE >>

NOVA SCOTIA LEGAL AID >>

THE NOVA SCOTIA BARRISTERS' SOCIETY WEBSITE >> includes legal information as well as contact information for the Province's practicing lawyers. The Society is the public interest regulator of the legal profession. It is the licensing and disciplinary body for lawyers. It sets and maintains standards, ensures responsibility through regulation, and works to enhance access to justice.

LINKS TO OTHER WEB-BASED LEGAL RESOURCES >> can be found on the resources page of this website. In addition to access to such documents and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, this page offers links to the websites of other Courts in Canada and to the decisions (judgements) of all the country's Courts and Tribunals.

REACHABILITY >> is dedicated to equalizing the playing field for people facing barriers. Through unique partnerships within the disabled, Aboriginal, African Canadian and new immigrant communities, this organization has created programming that fosters pre-employment skills and employment opportunities for all Nova Scotians facing the sting of stigma. reachAbility also offers clinics to help with filling out court forms and other legal preparation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS >> is a page on this website which provides answers to the most common questions about the Courts of Nova Scotia.

NOTE:

The above information is representative of the kinds of resources available
to people who are considering representing themselves in court.
It is not a complete list.

However, the websites suggested above all have their own
collection of links to still more web-based legal information that may also be of use.