COVID-19 and the courts: Dec. 18 update

Today’s roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Dec. 18 update

Courts across Canada have been taking 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

The Provincial Court and the Supreme Court have issued documents clarifying how parties and lawyers may advise the courts, the other parties and the other lawyers of their pronouns and forms of address at the beginning of the in-person or virtual proceedings. Effective Dec. 16, 2020, when they introduce themselves they should provide their names, titles (e.g. “Mr./Ms./Mx./Counsel”) and pronouns.


Provincial Court of Alberta

COVID-19 Restricted Services
As of Dec. 14, 2020, the court has imposed certain measures to address the surge of COVID-19 in the province to protect the health and safety of the public.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

Mandatory email filing – Civil and family proceedings
The court has mandated that, for the time being and while the public health crisis continues, counsel should file materials for civil or family proceedings electronically in accordance with the Dec. 11, 2020 announcement from Resolution and Court Administration Services.

Edmonton Review Office - Partial Closure (Update)
Effective immediately and until Jan. 4, 2021, the Edmonton Review Office will be closed for administrative inquiries because of staffing shortages.


Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice - Rescheduling of Circuit Court Sittings due to COVID-19 (December 11, 2020)
The Dec. 21, 2020 Nelson House JJP Docket has been administratively adjourned to Feb. 12, 2021.

Notice - Rescheduling of Adult and Youth Out of Custody Matters due to COVID-19 (Regional Centres)
The court has announced the date changes applicable to out-of-custody matters scheduled between Jan. 4-8, 2021 in regional court centres.

Notice - Rescheduling of Adult and Youth Out of Custody Matters due to COVID-19 (Winnipeg Centre)
The notice sets out the date changes for out-of-custody matters set in Winnipeg between Jan. 4-8, 2021.

Notice - Rescheduling of Circuit Court Sittings due to COVID-19
The court goes over the date changes that apply to circuit courts where matters were scheduled between Jan. 4-8, 2021.


Ontario Court of Justice

Latest Announcements About Criminal Proceedings in the OCJ
On Dec. 14, 2020, virtual case management courts launched in Espanola. The court also intends to launch such virtual case management courts in Brighton, Mattawa and Sturgeon Falls on Jan. 4, 2021, and in Sharbot Lake on Jan. 26, 2021.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings
The suspension of jury trials has been extended until at least Jan. 29, 2021 in all areas of Ontario except Green Zones. Such jury trials will resume on Feb. 1, 2021 at the earliest.

Court of Appeal for Ontario

Practice Direction Regarding the Electronic Conduct of Matters During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Factums should contain hyperlinks to the cited authorities, which link to either the party’s book of authorities, or to the judgment databases on courts’ websites or on CanLII. The hyperlinks may connect to LexisNexis Quicklaw or WestlawNext Canada if the authorities are not available on either of the two options. The cases cited in factums should be hyperlinked to the party’s book of authorities or to judgment databases.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Media Release - Issued December 17, 2020 - St. John's Provincial Court
The court announced that Traffic Court matters, including Contraventions Act cases, scheduled in St. John’s in January 2021 will not move forward at this time.

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