Justice officials say having adult criminal dockets posted online makes sense

Staff ~ The Telegram editor@thetelegram.com
Published on March 17, 2010

The provincial court of Newfoundland and Labrador began posting its daily adult criminal dockets online March 3 providing greater public access to dockets.

The dockets are found online here.

According to a news release, the public and media now have the capability to go online and access the daily adult criminal docket for any provincial court in the province.

The release states the online access not only benefits the public and media, but improves the efficiency of the court by reducing phone calls and visits to the court registries.

The Small Claims Docket will also be available online in a few weeks. As regards Youth and Family cases, there is specific legislation that prohibits the information contained in these dockets from being published.

Provincial court Chief Judge Mark Pike said, "I am pleased that our court services director has taken this innovative step to improve the efficiency of the court's daily operation and to make it more convenient for the thousands of people who have contact with us every year".

St. John's criminal lawyer Randy Piercey said that for many years lawyers, witnesses and those accused of crimes were required to crowd around a printed listing of the schedule posted outside the court door every morning.

"This was cumbersome and confusing," he said. "By having the docket posted and accessible online, all parties can confirm their schedules in advance."

Pamela Goulding, Director of Public Prosecutions, noted that all too frequently, people went to the wrong courtroom or were mistaken about when their case was scheduled to proceed.

"Those who work in the courts such as police officers, lawyers and media personnel upon whom the public relies for information about what's happening in our courts every day, were especially affected," she said. "Now, anyone with Internet access can check the docket at their convenience. This will make it a lot easier for everyone. It just makes sense."