The Law Society regulates lawyers in the NWT. It cannot provide legal advice or assistance to the public.
Listed below is some information that may be of assistance to the public
Informations légales en français destinées au grand public
CliquezJustice.ca est un site pancanadien d’information juridique qui offre un contenu destiné aux populations minoritaires francophones à l’extérieur du Québec. Son mandat est d’informer le grand public de façon claire et simplifiée sur ses droits et obligations dans des contextes touchant autant le quotidien que la vie en société.
Ce site s’adresse également aux enfants, aux adolescents et à leurs enseignants puisqu’il offre une vaste sélection de ressources juridiques clés en main, des vidéos et des jeux pour mieux comprendre le fonctionnement du système judiciaire et obtenir des réponses à de multiples questions de droit. CliquezJustice.ca contient également de l’information pertinente sur les carrières en justice.
LEGAL SERVICES, RESOURCES AND PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
HANDBOOKS FOR SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS (PEOPLE REPRESENTING THEMSELVES IN LEGAL CASES)
Here are three handbooks provided by the Canadian Judicial Council for people representing themselves in legal cases.
LEGAL SERVICES INVENTORY
Here is a listing of legal services, resources and programs available to members of the public in the NWT. It is handy guide to legal services, resources and programs in the NWT that may help you navigate your way around the justice system.
The Law Society is unable to notarize documents, and does not regulate Notaries Public in the Northwest Territories. If you require a Notary, please refer to the Notaries Public page on the GNWT Website.
A Notary Public can perform all of the duties of a Commissioner for Oaths. In addition, a Notary Public can certify true copies of documents. Documents that are going to be used outside of the NWT must be signed and sworn or affirmed before a Notary Public.
Lawyers approved to practice in the NWT often can act as Notary Public.
The Department of Justice maintains a list of some Notary Public services in the major centers of the NWT.
If you want to become a Notary Public, click here for more information and application forms.
FAMILY LAW, DIVORCES & CHILD CUSTODY
FAMILY LAW IN THE NWT
The NWT Justice Department has published a Family Law Manual that reviews your rights and responsibilities within a family setting. The book provides an overview on Separation and Divorce, Child Custody, Child Abuse and Family Violence, as well as more information on such things as Adoption and the role of Lawyers within family law.
To download a PDF version of Family Law in the NWT, Click Here. The French version is available Here.
The Federal Department of Justice has general information on family law topics. Click Here.
The Federal Department of Justice also has a number of Fact Sheets on a number of family law topics. Click here to go to the list of Fact Sheets.
Click here for a list of lawyers approved to work in the NWT who have indicated that they work in family and matrimonial law, and who may be able to assist you with family and matrimonial law issues.
You may be able to get legal information on family and matrimonial law from the Legal Aid Outreach Clinic. You can call the Outreach Clinic at 1 844 497 1319 toll free or 1 867 767 9384.
CHILD CUSTODY AND ACCESS
For information on child custody and access in the NWT, please see the Department of Justice Website here.
For information from the Federal Department of Justice on parenting arrangements, Click Here.
For information related to child support, please see the Department of Justice Website here.
The Child Support Calculator will help you calculate child support amounts.
The Federal Department of Justice has a step-by-step guide to child support guidelines.
The Federal Department of Justice has other information on child support. Click Here.
FAMILY MEDIATION PROGRAM
Family mediation is a voluntary alternative to court. It is a free service that can help those who are going through separation or divorce.
Family mediation is conducted by a neutral, experienced family mediator. The mediator cannot make decisions, the mediator will work with people to help them to reach their own decisions. Family mediators can assist with issues such as:
- Custody of children
- Access to children
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Division of property and
- Family support.
Family mediation can be conducted in person or by telephone.
For more information about the free Family Mediation Service, click here.
Here is a link to frequently asked questions about Family mediation.
If you want to find out whether Family Mediation would work for you, call 1 866 217 8923, or in Yellowknife 873 7122. All calls to Family Mediation are confidential. Translation is available.
PARENTING AFTER SEPARATION WORKSHOP
The Government of the Northwest Territories offers a free half-day Parenting After Separation Workshop for parents who are going through separation or divorce. Participants will learn about things like: the legal process, and legal issues, options to resolve family law disputes, the impact that separation can have on both you and your children, good ways to communicate with your children and ex-partner, developing a parenting plan, introducing a new partner and more.
In some situations you may have to prove to the Court that you have taken this workshop. Once you complete the course you will receive a certificate to confirm attendance.
You will receive legal information, but not legal advice through this workshop. If you have specific legal questions, please consult with a lawyer.
This workshop is available in person in Yellowknife along with online. For more information or to register, please contact [email protected] or toll-free at 1-877-776-2838.
LEGAL AID COMMISSION
Legal Aid can provide a lawyer for people who cannot afford a lawyer themselves.
Legal Aid does not provide legal assistance in all legal problems. Click here for a list of areas where Legal Aid may be provided.
You can call Legal Aid at 1 844 835 8050 toll free or 1 867 767 9361.
You can also find out about Legal Aid from a community court worker. Click here for a list of community court workers.
FREE LEGAL INFORMATION/ADVICE
Legal Aid provides an Outreach Clinic to provide up to 2 hours of confidential legal advice.
There are two weekly Outreach Clinics in Yellowknife on a first come-first served basis:
- Tuesday from 1:30-4:30 PM, and
- Wednesday from 1:30-4:30 PM.
You can also make in-person and telephone appointments at other times.
The Yellowknife Outreach Clinic is located on the 3rd floor of YK Centre East, Suite 305, 4915 48th Street. Service disponible en Francais.
Outreach Clinics will be held in other NWT communities as well.
For more information about Outreach Clinics click here.
You can call the Outreach Clinic at 1 844 497 1319 toll free or 1 867 767-9384.
The Court Registry is where court documents are filed, and where court fines can be paid.
The NWT Supreme Court Registry is located in Yellowknife. It is located on the Third Floor, 4903 – 49 Street, Yellowknife.
You can call the Supreme Court registry al 1 867 767 9288.
Supreme Court Registry hours are Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
The NWT Territorial Court has registries in Yellowknife, Hay River and Inuvik:
Third floor, 4903 – 49 Street
Telephone 1 867 767 9289
Yellowknife Registry hours are Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
- Hay River
#201, 8 Capital Drive
Telephone 1 866 885 2535 toll free, or 1 867 874 6509
Hay River Registry hours are Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM until 12:00 noon and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
151 Mackenzie Road
Telephone 1 866 344 3940 toll free, or 1 867 777 7300
Hay River Registry hours are Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM until 12:00 noon and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
For more information about all Court Registries, click here.
SMALL CLAIMS COURT/CIVIL CLAIMS COURT
Small Claims Court, now called Civil Claims Court is a court where you can bring claims up to $35,000. You can represent yourself in Civil Claims Court, or you can hire a lawyer to assist you.
Civil Claims Court procedures are designed to be simpler, less formal and faster than in other courts.
Every Civil Claims Court claim must go through a mandatory mediation session with a
Civil Claims Court Judge before being scheduled for trial.
More information on Civil Claims Court, including court forms and a listing of fees, can be found here.
The Legal Aid Outreach Clinic may be able to assist you with a Civil Claims Court claim or defence.
Click here for a list of lawyers approved to work in the NWT who have indicated they work in civil litigation, and who may be able to represent you in Civil Claims Court.
The Sheriff’s office provides assistance in NWT courtrooms. The Sheriff’s office also seizes good and evicts tenants when there is a court order to do so. The Sheriff’s office is responsible for delivering jury notices to possible jurors. For more information about the Sheriff’s office, click here.
COMPLETING LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Commissioner for Oaths
Documents to be used only in the Northwest Territories can be signed and sworn or affirmed before a Commissioner for Oaths. Commissioners for Oaths cannot certify true copies of documents.
Certain people in the NWT have been appointed as Commissioner for Oaths. In addition, these people can act as Commissioners for Oaths in the NWT:
- Member of the RCMP;
- Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff;
- Lawyer approved to practice in the NWT;
- Notary public appointed in the NWT;
- Clerk or Deputy Clerk of the NWT Supreme Court or Territorial Court;
- Justice of the Peace in the NWT (only within their jurisdiction); and
- Judge of the NWT Supreme Court or NWT Territorial Court
The Department of Justice maintains a list of some Commissioners for Oaths in the major centers of the NWT. Documents to be filed in court can be commissioned at a court registry.
If you want to become a Commissioner for Oaths, click here for more information and application forms.
WILLS AND ESTATES
A will is a legal document that sets out your wishes concerning your estate after you die. Your estate is your property and all other goods that belong to you.
If you die without a will, the law provides that your estate goes to your relatives according to a set order.
To learn more about wills, and what happens if you die without a will, click here.
Click here for a list of lawyers approved to practice in the NWT who have indicated they work with wills. Click here for a list of lawyers approved to practice in the NWT who have indicated that they work with estates.
You may be able to get legal information on wills and estates from the Legal Aid Outreach Clinic. You can call the Outreach Clinic at 1 844 497 1319 toll free or 1 867 767 9384.
ON-LINE LEGAL RESOURCES
Legalline– This website provides free resources and information regarding Canadian law.
CanLII– This website is an excellent resource for statutes, Acts and regulations.
M.M. DE WEERDT PUBLIC LEGAL RESOURCE CENTRE
The M.M. de Weerdt Public Legal Resource Centre provides legal resource materials to judges, lawyers and the public. The Centre maintains a collection of legal information in both hard copy and electronic formats.
Members of the public are welcome to use these resources.
The Resource Centre is located in the Yellowknife Courthouse on the 4th floor.
Hours are: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 pm and 1 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays
M.M. de Weerdt Public Legal Resource Centre
4th Floor Court House, 4903 49th Street