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Legal Information

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.

LEGAL SERVICES, RESOURCES AND PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

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.

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.

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.

CHILD SUPPORT

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.

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.

LEGAL AID COMMISSION

Legal Aid

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.

COURT REGISTRIES

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:

  • Yellowknife

Third floor, 4903 – 49 Street
Yellowknife
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
Hay River
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

  • Inuvik

151 Mackenzie Road
Hay River
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.

SHERRIFF'S OFFICE

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.

Notary Public

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.

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 and estates and who may be able to help you with a will or estate question.

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.