COVID-19 and the courts: April 22 update

Today's update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: April 22 update

Courts across Canada are taking extraordinary measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19. Below is a roundup of actions courts are taking across the country.

British Columbia
Supreme Court of British Columbia

Notice — COVID-19: E-filing and bankruptcy desk order applications
The court encourages trustees to utilize e-filing for bankruptcy desk order applications where a hearing is not required. To make e-filing easier, effective Apr. 20, Court Services Online also allows e-filing through the use of a Basic BCeID account.

Notice — COVID-19: E-filing and family and civil desk order applications
The court encourages parties to utilize e-filing for certain kinds of family and civil desk order applications, which are listed in this notice to the profession, the public and the media. To make e-filing easier, effective Apr. 20, Court Services Online also allows e-filing through the use of a Basic BCeID account. The court is also encouraging counsel and the public to avail of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to help in reducing delays with regard to civil and family matters.

Use of Basic BCeID for E-FILING
Effective Apr. 20 and while the suspension of the court’s regular operations lasts, parties may e-file documents using Basic BCeID.

Certificates of pending litigation, certificates of judgment and certificates of commencement of proceedings
Effective Apr. 17 and for the duration of the suspension of the court’s regular operations, the following exempted documents under Rule 23-3(5) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules may be transmitted electronically: certificates of pending litigation, certificates of judgment and certificates of commencement of proceedings.

Provincial Court of Alberta
COVID-19 pandemic planning for the scheduling of matters
As of Apr. 21, the page has an updated Calgary Practice Note 1005 Remote Court and new information relating to extension requests for the payment of criminal fines. Regarding traffic court proceedings, the provincial government has temporarily waived the service fee for online fine payments.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
COVID-19: Extension of suspension of hearings — Master Order #3
The court has extended the limitation of hearings to only those involving emergency and urgent matters to May 31. It has also extended the adjournment of criminal jury trials and jury selections to Sept. 8, in accordance with Master Order #3 dated Apr. 21.

Provincial Court of Manitoba
Provincial Court Replacement Dates
The court has posted the replacement dates for cancelled Provincial Court Circuits or Out of Custody Dockets from Apr. 14 to Apr. 17.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice
Notice to the Profession, Public, Accused Persons and the Media Regarding the Suspension of Criminal and Civil Jury Trials
The court will not recommence criminal or civil jury selection or jury trials until September, at the earliest. The court continues to monitor the situation and expects to issue further direction by early May. In the meantime, the dates for currently scheduled criminal matters will stay the same, subject to the issuance of further direction. As for civil jury matters, regional notices will be released to address the issue of how each region of the court can best reschedule civil jury trials.

Court of Appeal for Ontario
Practice Direction Concerning Revised Court of Appeal Release Order Form for Use Only During the Exceptional and Evolving Circumstances Concerning COVID-19
To streamline matters during the public health crisis, the court has revised the all-in-one release order. Starting Apr. 20 and until further notice, this is the only release order that will be used. The revised release order makes it possible to effect releases solely and remotely through the Court of Appeal, without needing to take the Court of Appeal release order to the Court of Justice for the release to take effect.

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Supreme Court
COVID-19: Supreme Court (General Division) now accepting certain non-urgent matters
Effective immediately, the court is expanding its essential services model by accepting certain non-urgent matters, such as non-urgent motions by correspondence, non-urgent applications where all parties and the judge agree that the matter can be dealt with solely in writing, uncontested divorces in the General Division and consent orders.

Northwest Territories
Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories
Changes to Territorial Court sittings and matters before Justice of the Peace due to COVID 19
The court has revised these directives as of Apr. 21.

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