COVID-19 and the courts: April 28 update

Today’s update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: April 28 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

COVID-19 Notice No. 14 — Expansion of civil and family matters — Applications by written submissions
Pursuant to Ministerial Order No. M121, issued by the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the court has expanded the scope of applications that can move forward through written submissions. The notice lists the types of applications that can now proceed by this manner, as well as the procedure for filing and serving such applications. The judge or master will then review these submissions and decide on the merits of the issue.

Alberta

Provincial Court of Alberta

Fort McMurray Courthouse closed due to flood evacuation
Until further notice, the Fort McMurray Courthouse is closed on account of flooding. Matters scheduled in the courthouse from Apr. 28 to May 1 will transfer to the St. Albert courthouse, and COVID-19 scheduling protocols persist.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

Closure of Fort McMurray Courthouse
Given the closure of the Fort McMurray courthouse until further notice, the court has introduced modifications to its processes for filing documents via email or fax and for requesting emergency or urgent hearings applications via the online form. For an emailed or faxed document, the filing should indicate in subject line that it is a “FORT MCMURRAY MATTER.”

Manitoba

Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba

Masters’ Court — Notice —Prerequisite Motions (Family Division)
Effective immediately, the court will recommence handling the prerequisite motions in the family division. This directive, which amends the directive dated Apr. 7, describes the process for proposed consent orders and motions that can be made without notice, as well as the process for prerequisite motions which are to be brought with notice. These processes vary depending on the region.

Nova Scotia

Provincial Court of Nova Scotia and Youth Justice Court

COVID-19: Ex parte applications to unseal sealed informations to obtain search warrants and other judicial authorizations
The notice details the remote process for bringing ex parte applications to unseal sealed informations to obtain judicial authorizations, such as search warrants. The remote process entails safeguards designed to balance public health directives to observe social distancing and the safe handling of paper documents. The required documents include an application, a supporting affidavit and an unsealing order, which should be filed electronically with the court where the original information to obtain was filed.

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