COVID-19 and the courts: April 6 update

Today’s update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: April 6 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.


Federal Court

Updated Practice Direction and Order (COVID-19)
Given the intervening events following the issuance of the practice direction and order dated Mar. 17, this update includes the extension of the suspension period until May 15, the waiver of certain filing fees effective Apr. 6 until the suspension period ends, accommodations for the remote commissioning of affidavits and processes for the rescheduling of adjourned hearings and for the filing of confidential materials, among other changes that the court is introducing. The court also lists the requirements for filing electronic copies of documents, which are necessary for telephone or videoconference hearings.


Provincial Court of Alberta

COVID-19 and bar admission ceremonies
Effective immediately, the court is restricting the attendance at bar admission ceremonies and imposing social distancing measures in court proceedings. From Apr. 3 to May 31, only applicants and their principals may attend.


Court of Appeal for Ontario

Practice Direction Concerning Applications for Bail Pending Appeal at the Court of Appeal for Ontario Given the Exceptional and Evolving Circumstances Concerning Covid-19
Effective Apr. 5 and until further notice, the court has adopted certain guidelines and requirements with regard to bail-related matters.

Practice Direction Concerning Manner of Service, Inmate Appeal Books, and Orders for Release of Electronic Exhibits in Criminal Matters Given the Exceptional and Evolving Circumstances Concerning Covid-19
Effective Apr. 3 and until further notice, the court has adopted certain guidelines and requirements with regard to criminal matters, specifically with respect to the manner of service, inmate appeal books and orders for release of electronic exhibits.

New Brunswick

Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick

Practice Directive from the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick related to court proceedings during COVID 19 Pandemic
The directive covers updates with regard to various matters including document filings, access to clerks’ offices, small claims court proceedings, jury trials, trial division matters, family division matters and settlement conferences.

Nova Scotia

Provincial Court of Nova Scotia

COVID-19: Rendering of an accused by surety in the Provincial Court
Sureties seeking to be relieved of their responsibility should complete this form, while ensuring that they adhere to the instructions set out in the notice linked above.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice to the profession and general public — COVID-19: Preventative measures
For the period of Mar. 18 until the restoration of the court’s regular operations, the court is extending all periods contained in the Rules of the Supreme Court that require or authorize a person to do or abstain from doing any act in a proceeding. These extensions of time apply to non-urgent matters in the general division and in the family division.

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