THE PAYMENT of all fines have been suspended by the Judiciary until March 26.
In the latest practice directions, which came into effect on Friday, the Judiciary advised that the amended covid19 directions for court operations extended the waiver of fees, the collection of fines, payment for traffic tickets issued before May 2020 and has suspended all service and commissioner of affidavit fees.
However, it has not altered the previous practice directions, on November 30, which prohibits in-person hearings except in special circumstances. Jury trials remain suspended as prisoners will not be allowed to attend court physically until further advised.
Also remaining in effect are the rules which allows witness to give evidence from specific locations, as directed by a judge or judicial officer, or at the court’s virtual access customer centres. They will even be allowed to give evidence at a court building but only in exceptional circumstances where the court deems it absolutely necessary.
Allowances will be given in cases where hard copy documents or physical exhibits must be tendered in evidence and there is no agreement by the parties on doing so electronically; where identification is an issue in dispute or a witness as to give an in-court dock identification of an accused or where a witness has no access to internet services.
The court will schedule times for anyone who has to give oral evidence from a court location to avoid congregating and judges, judicial officers and attorneys are reminded that the registrars and court managers have overall administrative control of all high court buildings on behalf of the CJ.
Friday’s amendments also included an extension for the payment of any public health fixed-penalty notices issued before March 26. It can now be paid from March 27-June1. For public health fixed-penalty notices issued before March 26, adjourned dates were given, starting from June 22 to January 2022. The relevant adjourned dates are listed on the Judiciary’s social media sites or in the TT Gazette.
All service and commissioner of affidavit fees will be noted and payment suspended until March 26.
The Judiciary also advised that while the payment of all traffic tickets issued before May 26, 2020, were to be settled within six months from that date, by paying a discounted 50 per cent of the penalty, those payments, which were extended for four months from November 26, has been further suspended for collection until March 26.