Nakusp court registry closes
The Nakusp court registry closed quietly late last month, confirming what had been speculated for more than a month.
“The Ministry consulted with the judiciary and the local municipality about reducing court operations due to the low volume of cases,” wrote a Ministry of Justice spokesperson in response to questions. “Court proceedings will continue at the same location and on the same schedule as previously, only registry functions will be managed at another location.”
The registry allowed locals to easily file court papers, look up information on ongoing cases and solicit advice from the register.
The closure was not unexpected, and its spectre was raised by Judge Donald Sperry in February.
Ulrike Zobel, a Nakusp lawyer, said the closure “will leave a big gap in this community.”
“Given this government’s push on ‘access to justice’, closing our registry is definitely a step in the wrong direction,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Arrow Lakes News.
Zobel gave credit to Sandy Scott, who staffed the registry, for providing people with information and helping them navigate the “increasingly complex and user unfriendly” legal system.
“She was sometimes the only person in the system people had access to when they had nowhere else to turn,” said Zobel. “She was very knowledgeable and treated all who came to her with respect and professionalism, and she gave as much help as she could with friendliness and a smile, even when faced with difficult people.”
The registry is now located in Nelson, so any court filings will have to be sent there.
This marks the latest in a series of registry closures across the province as the government has consolidate court services in bigger centres.
The court room will still be used for monthly court sittings.