Supreme Court Practice Memorandums

The Justices of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia have approved Practice Memorandums on a variety of issues to provide guidance for counsel, parties and individuals representing themselves in matters before the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court (Family Division). Individuals are expected to review and follow the applicable directives for their matter. Questions about these documents should be directed to the Prothonotary or the Deputy Prothonotary at the courthouse where your matters are filed. 

Matters in the Supreme Court (Family Division)

This Practice Memorandum applies to any proceeding started, dealt with, and heard in the Supreme Court (Family Division), unless a judge directs otherwise. Among other things, this Practice Memorandum outlines the expectations for formatting and filing court documents in family law matters, processes for settlement conferences, Orders and other important information for counsel and litigants appearing in the Supreme Court (Family Division). 

Family Division Practice Memorandum

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Foreclosure Procedures

The Justices of the Supreme Court have approved a simplified procedure which can be used in most proceedings for foreclosure. Practice Memorandum #1 provides for the remedy of foreclosure, sale, and possession by way of action. There are other well-established foreclosure remedies, such as sales ordered in the course of a receivership. There are also less established foreclosure remedies the Court has occasionally ordered, such as sale by completion of a mortgagor’s agreement of purchase and sale. Some of the comments in this Practice Memorandum may provide guidance in respect of other foreclosure remedies.

Practice Memorandum #1 - Foreclosure Procedures

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Affidavits of Service

Personal service of a notice is proved by an affidavit of service that includes a certified copy of the notice. Practice Memorandum #2 includes the recommended form of affidavit of service for applications, and a modified version for motions requiring personal service or other processes requiring personal service.

Practice Memorandum #2 - Affidavits of Service

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Neutral Citations

Case law that has a neutral citation should be referred to by that citation. Other citations that refer to a report series, or an electronic database, may be included after the neutral citation. The purpose of Practice Memorandum #3 is to ensure that counsel provide the correct neutral citation to any case law cited in submissions to any court in Nova Scotia.

Practice Memorandum #3 - Neutral Citation and Paragraph References

Courtroom Attire

The following Practice Memorandum outlines the circumstances in which counsel are expected to robe for proceedings in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. It also specifies what the Court considers appropriate business attire and outlines the process for advising the Court of personal circumstances that require them to wear altered robes or business attire. 

Practice Memorandum #4 - Courtroom Attire


The effective use of technology in the disclosure process can save time and reduce cost. This Practice Memorandum and the accompanying checklist and protocol are intended to assist parties in using technology effectively for electronic disclosure (“e-disclosure”). The protocol may be used as a basis for agreement. It too should be taken as a checklist. Each line of the protocol suggests a subject for consideration. Nothing is compulsory. 

Practice Memorandum #5 - E-Disclosure

Infant Settlement Precedents

Justice Walter Goodfellow, now retired, in consultation with a committee of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, prepared precedents for applications or motions to approve a settlement on behalf of a child, approve fees and expenses, and set up a trust for the proceeds. These were revamped in the style now used by the Supreme Court, and the results are attached to this Practice Memorandum. The precedents may be consulted when a settlement is sought to be approved. The precedents outlined in Practice Memorandum 6B may be used for approval of settlements on behalf of a child for $25,000 or less. These differ from the usual precedents in ways that are intended to make the motion or application less expensive.

Practice Memorandum 6A - Infant Settlement Precedents

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Practice Memorandum 6B - Infant Settlement Precedents Under $25,000

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Resolution Conferences

Resolution conferences in criminal cases provide an opportunity to obtain judicial input and assistance for counsel’s efforts at resolution. Resolutions conferences are intended to facilitate the disposition of cases in a timely and fair manner other than by trial. To be effective, counsel must be conversant with the issues that will likely arise in a trial, understand the context in which the issues will arise and the possible outcomes of the trial. The following Practice Memorandum outlines the process for scheduling, preparing for and participating in a criminal resolution conference.

Practice Memorandum #7 - Resolution Conferences - Criminal Trials

Model CCAA and Receivership Orders

The superior courts of the Atlantic Provinces have developed a model receivership order, CCAA initial order, and CCAA charging order for use in bankruptcy and insolvency matters. To some extent, these follow precedents of the Toronto Commercial List. Each province has adapted the model orders to accord with differing rules of court, substantive law, and practice. Practice Memorandum #8 governs these matters for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

Practice Memorandum #8 - Model CCAA and Receivership Orders

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Practice Memorandum #9 - Chambers for Insolvency Proceedings was repealed on Jan. 26, 2018. 

Taxable Disbursements

The table provided in Practice Memorandum #10 is intended to standardize allowances for disbursements when costs are awarded. A party is always free to submit that a variation would be reasonable. Such a submission needs to be supported by evidence.

Practice Memorandum #10 - Taxable Disbursements Under Rule 77.10(1)

Quieting Titles

The Justices of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia exercised their power under Section 49 of the Judicature Act to modify procedural provisions in the Quieting Titles Act so they conform with the present Civil Procedure Rules. Practice Memorandum #11 guides applications or actions under the Act.

Practice Memorandum #11 - Quieting Titles

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Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Appeals 

Decisions on applications for access to information under Nova Scotia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (often referred to as the FOIPOP Act) can be appealed in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Practice Memorandum #12 outlines the process for filing and hearing these types of appeals.

Practice Memorandum #12 - Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Appeals

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Intimate Images and Cyber Protection

A small number of complaints under the 2013 Cyber-Safety Act went to court. Most were resolved with the help of the CyberSCAN unit at the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. The Act was amended in 2017 to become the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act. A person who wishes to start a proceeding in court under this statute should contact CyberSCAN at or by phone at 1-855-702-8324. The following Practice Memorandum outlines the process for filing and hearing these types of matters. 

Practice Memorandum #13 - Intimate Images and Cyber-Protection

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Class Action Protocol

On the recommendation of the Canadian Judicial Council, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has adopted the Canadian Bar Association Resolution 18-03-A “Canadian Judicial Protocol for the Management of Multijurisdictional Class Actions and the Provision of Class Action Notice". Practice Memorandum #14 formalizes this approval and provides a link to the Protocol on the CBA website.

Practice Memorandum #14 - Class Action Protocol