Friday, 26 June 2020

Lagos Judiciary Re-Opens Magistrates` Courts` Sittings; Hearing of Fresh & Part-Head Cases Remains Suspended Till Further Notice

Lagos Judiciary Re-opens Sitting Magistrates` Courts Sittings, Warns Against Violation of Social Distancing Guidelines -- Hearing of Fresh & Part-Head Cases Remains Suspended

The Lagos State judiciary has directed immediate re-opening of sitting for Magistrates` Court in the State. A circular dated 25 June 2020 and signed by Mrs Omolade Awope, Deputy Registrar (Administration), on behalf of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, states that “only urgent criminal applications and overnight criminal cases are to be heard for now.” Additionally, the Courts are to proceed and deliver all pending judgments and rulings.  The implication of this directive is that conduct of the proceeding in the following matters remains suspended till further notice:

  1.  All Civil cases
  2. Part-heard matters
  3. Fresh Trials
  4. Hearing in appeals

Meanwhile, the Circular places a restriction on the number of sittings per week, for categories of Magistrates` Courts in Lagos State, as follows:

  1. All Magistrates on Grade Level 15 – 17 to sit not more than three times in a week
  2.  All Magistrates on Grade Level 13 – 14 to sit not more than two times in a week

 According to the circular, the Admin Magistrates in each magisterial districts and sub-districts are to prepare the rosters for sittings of the Magistrates in their respective domains.

 See the circular below.



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