COVID-19 and the courts: Jan. 11 update

Today's roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Jan. 11 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.

Supreme Court of Canada

Notice to the Profession: January 2021 – Rules Amending the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada
The court’s acting registrar announced the publication of the Rules Amending the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, SOR/2020-281, on Jan. 6. The amendments, which include changes to the leave application process, will come into force on Jan. 27.

British Columbia

The provincial government announced that it would end its temporary suspension of limitation periods to initiate court proceedings on Mar. 25. As such, the suspension is no longer connected to the duration of the state of emergency. The courts of B.C. have issued updates accordingly:


Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

COVID-19: Changes to the court schedule for the weeks of January 4 and 11, 2021
The court announced modifications to its schedule for the weeks of Jan. 4 and Jan. 11. The notice details information relating to applications without notice (ex parte) in Civil and Family Chambers, the booking of urgent matters, the suspension of civil or family or commercial trial bookings, the scheduling of matters in Masters Chambers and matters in the Regional Centres, Calgary and Edmonton.


Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan

Directive Update
The court has postponed jury trials scheduled to begin between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31.


Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice - Rescheduling of Adult and Youth out of Custody Matters Due to COVID-19
The court announced the date changes applicable to out-of-custody matters scheduled between Jan. 11 and Jan. 29 in the regional court centres of Brandon, Thompson, The Pas, Dauphin and Portage la Prairie.

Notice - Further Suspension and Restriction of Hearings Return to Sitting for Some Trials and Special Sittings in Certain Circuits
The court is suspending out-of-custody court operations until Jan. 29 in most of its centres, but recommencing limited operations in certain circuit locations and conducting virtual dockets for other circuit locations.

Notice - Suspension of Court Sittings due to COVID-19
The Provincial Offences Court Office at 373 Broadway Avenue in Winnipeg will stay closed to the public until Jan. 29. Provincial Offences Act matters and Highway Traffic Act matters, whether in Winnipeg or regional, which are scheduled to take place until Jan. 29 have been adjourned.

Notice - Rescheduling of Winnipeg Adult and Youth Out of Custody Matters due to COVID-19 (Winnipeg Centre)
The notice lists the date changes applicable to out-of-custody matters scheduled between Jan. 11 and Jan. 29 in Winnipeg. No out-of-custody matters will move forward in the Winnipeg Court Centre except if an application has been filed for the matter to be heard on an urgent basis.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba

Notice - Adjustments to Current Scheduling Protocols - January 12 - 29, 2021 (Family Division)
The previously announced adjustments to the court’s scheduling practices for proceedings in the Family Division will also apply from Jan. 12 to Jan. 29. The court is adjourning currently scheduled family and child protection trials set to proceed between Jan. 12 to Jan. 29, where not all parties are represented by counsel, to an administrative list for rescheduling on Jan. 29. If all parties are represented by counsel, the proceeding will be heard via video conference.


Ontario Court of Justice

COVID-19: Notice to Counsel/Paralegals and the Public re: Provincial Offences Act Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice
On Jan. 25, remote hearings by video conference may start at court locations which have the required technology. On the same date, in-person appearances may also begin if there is a Provincial Offences Court which has implemented all the needed health and safety measures.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings
Effective Dec. 29, 2020, all non-jury matters should move forward virtually except if it is absolutely necessary to conduct in-person proceedings. Courtrooms are subject to a 10-person capacity limit. The court is not starting any new jury selections at this time.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice dated Dec. 30, 2020
The Traffic Court in St. John’s, inclusive of Contraventions Act cases, scheduled for January will not move forward at this time.

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