COVID-19 and the courts: March 25 update

Today's update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: March 25 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.

Alberta
Provincial Court of Alberta
Rule of Court — Provincial Court Pandemic Plan
This announcement clarified that the court’s pandemic plan, which it implemented last week, was intended to apply retrospectively.

Ontario
Ontario Superior Court of Justice
Notice Re Urgent Matters Emailed to Trial Co-Ordinators
The court has advised that, for urgent matters emailed to trial coordinators pursuant to the Chief Justice’s notices to the profession dated Mar. 15, emails received at or after 4:30 p.m. will be dealt with the following business day, because of the high volume of emails being received.

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Prince Edward Island
Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island and Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency — Message from the Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island
Court services are presently minimized and the use of technology maximized. Most court proceedings are adjourned, with only urgent matters to be heard using technological means. In-person court appearances are suspended, other than for urgent and emergency matters. Filing of court documents should generally be done by email, because personal filing through the drop box system is restricted to certain urgent or necessary documents.
COVID-19 — Prince Edward Island Supreme Court and Court of Appeal — FAQ
The courts have provided a document answering frequently asked questions pertaining to limitation periods, filing of documents, court appearances, filing fees and other matters.

Yukon
Territorial Court of Yukon
Notice to the profession and the public
This notice, dated Mar. 24, updates its previous announcement dated Mar. 17. The measures listed aim to minimize unnecessary in-person contact between individuals to promote the health and safety of all court users.

Northwest Territories
Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories
Changes to Territorial Court and Justice of the Peace Court Sittings due to COVID-19
The updates to the court’s earlier directives include specific social distancing measures implemented during court proceedings. For instance, attendants to proceedings will sit in marked seats, and members of the media allowed to attend will be limited.
Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories
COVID-19 Response: changes to Supreme Court proceedings and scheduling
The changes to the court’s response include directives for parties to make their submissions only by telephone or in writing and for attendants to court proceedings to follow specific social distancing measures.

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