Login

COVID-19 and the courts: June 15 update

Today’s update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: June 15 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

Provincial Court of British Columbia

Update on traffic, ticket or bylaw matters in B.C. Provincial Court
The court has adjourned traffic, ticket and bylaw matters with hearings scheduled for Mar. 18 or later. The concerned parties will receive a new notice of hearing. The court has also extended the timeline to pay fines relating to traffic, ticket or bylaw matters to June 30.

Notice to the profession and public 22: Resuming in-person proceedings during COVID-19: Health and safety protocols
The Ministry of Attorney General’s website discusses the government protocols aiming to ensure the safety of participants in in-person proceedings that have resumed, such as cleaning, sanitizing, physical distancing and verbally screening visitors to the courthouse.

Supreme Court of British Columbia

COVID-19 notice no. 28 – Resumption of further court operations – Chambers applications
Effective June 8, the court has recommenced hearing chambers applications other than short leave applications, estimated for two hours or less, via telephone call, except if the court orders otherwise. The court said that it would adjust certain timelines relating to provision of application records and service of application record indexes to accommodate this change.

COVID-19 notice no. 27 – In court measures during the pandemic
On June 8, the court recommenced trials in certain courthouse locations, for which it has adopted measures and precautions to ensure the safety of participants in court proceedings. Like the Provincial Court, the Supreme Court referred to the information on court recovery operations posted on the Ministry of Attorney General’s website.

Court of Appeal for British Columbia

Updated notice to the public - Service and filing deadlines further suspended from 15 June to 29 June 2020
The court has extended the deadlines for service and filing for existing appeals and chambers applications to June 29.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Supreme Court

COVID-19: Supreme Court (General Division) expands virtual court initiative
The court’s General Division has broadened the eligibility criteria for virtual hearings. Virtual court options are available to matters with documentary exhibits and viva voce evidence, including cross-examination, and to civil matters that can be addressed in three days or less. The court is also allowing witnesses who testify remotely in virtual hearings to be affirmed. Counsel involved in matters falling under the expanded criteria may contact the local scheduler.

COVID-19: Supreme Court moving to safe services model
Effective June 15, the court is transitioning from the modified essential services model to the safe services model. Non-urgent in-person hearings can move forward if they can be done in a safe manner and in accordance with established protocols. The notice discussed how the court will deal with document filings, courthouse access and public file access under the new model. “This is the first step towards our new normal,” said Deborah K. Smith, Chief Justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

COVID-19: Court of Appeal expanding services during the pandemic
The court has started accepting non-urgent motions in chambers, which will be heard via telephone and video. The court is conducting telechambers every Wednesday and chambers on Thursday. The court has also suspended the timelines for commencing appeals and setting down motions for date and directions until June 26.

Related stories

Free newsletter

The Canadian Legal Newswire is a FREE newsletter that keeps you up to date on news and analysis about the Canadian legal scene. A separate InHouse Edition is delivered on a regular basis, providing targeted news and information of interest to in-house counsel.

Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Incoming: a COVID-19 employment law litigation wave

Online mediation provides opportunities for gender neutrality

Counterfeit products and websites on the rise amid COVID-19

Roundup of law firm resources on COVID-19: July 3 update

IBA urges governments to take immediate action to dismantle systemic discrimination among police

Canada makes judicial appointments in B.C. and Nova Scotia: Hugh Veenstra and Patrick Duncan

Most Read Articles

Uber’s arbitration clause in contract with Ontario drivers is unconscionable, SCC rules

Canada can – and should – facilitate release of the Two Michaels

Safety first! New Canadian cloud security guidance is issued

B.C. law society suspends lawyer for threatening public officer to get settlement sought by clients