COVID-19 and the courts: Aug. 23, 2021 update

This week's roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Aug. 23, 2021 update
Canadian courts have adopted measures to limit COVID-19 transmission

Courts across Canada have been taking measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Below is a roundup of actions courts are taking across the country.

British Columbia

Provincial Court of British Columbia

Update: Kelowna Law Courts – Face Masks Required
The court, guided by the regional public health restrictions, still requires the wearing of face masks inside the Kelowna Law Courts and courtrooms, except if otherwise directed by the courtroom’s presiding judicial officer.

Manitoba

Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice - Update to Judicial Justices of the Peace Weekday Bail dockets
The court will continue evaluating until Dec. 31 the Judicial Justice of the Peace court sitting added to the overnight bail program, which was intended to promote the timely release of certain individuals who have been arrested overnight and kept in custody in the province’s police facilities, the update said.

Court of Appeal of Manitoba

Notice - Resumption of In-Person Appeal Hearings and Chambers Motions Starting August 23, 2021
In-person appeal hearings in Courtroom 330 and in-person chambers motions in Courtroom 130 will recommence beginning Aug. 23, considering that the COVID-19-related public health measures have eased since Aug. 7, assuming that the situation stays stable. The court continues to implement certain public safety measures such as physical distancing, the wearing of masks and the cleaning and sanitizing of courtrooms. During the transition period, access to the courthouse is still limited to those necessary to the court’s proceedings, as well as the press and media.

New Brunswick

Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick

COVID-19 Directive issued on August 11, 2020 with respect to the filing of documents
The filing of documents in the court’s trial and family divisions, the Probate Court and the Small Claims Court has resumed, subject to the applicable court rules or regulations, effective Aug. 15. Court users can leave the original documents, required copies and filing fees in the secure drop boxes. Electronic filing via email will only be accepted if there are extenuating circumstances and advanced approval from the clerk or clerk’s office.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice to the Profession and Public - Provincial Court of NL - Masking
Everyone attending court should wear a proper face covering at all times, except children under five years old or those prevented by a medical condition from wearing a face covering. The court will provide disposable masks for individuals attending court without a face covering. The presiding judge has the discretion to allow those inside the courtroom to remove their masks. This notice is in line with the chief medical officer of health’s continuing recommendation to wear masks, especially if physical distancing is impossible. The court’s other protocols remain in place.

Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice to the Profession and General Public - Masks
The court requires the wearing of non-medical masks while in the courthouse’s public areas, including when entering a courtroom. The presiding judge can permit those inside the courtroom to remove these masks.

Northwest Territories

Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories

Territorial Court Directive on COVID-19
The update covers court proceedings outside Yellowknife. The following scheduled sittings of the Criminal and Youth Justice Court are cancelled: Aug. 30 in Délı̨nę, Aug. 31 in Tulita, Sept. 1 in Fort Good Hope and Sept. 2 in Norman Wells. The Justices of the Peace Court sitting scheduled for Sept. 22 in Norman Wells will also not push through. These cancelled sittings will be spoken to on the dates and locations listed in the directive.

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