COVID-19 and the courts: Nov. 2 update

Today’s roundup for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Nov. 2 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

Agenda
The court has listed the appeals scheduled to be heard from Nov. 2 to 13.

  • Nov. 3: Randy Desmond Riley v. Her Majesty the Queen (N.S.) (criminal) (as of right)
  • Nov. 4: Felice Colucci v. Lina Colucci (Ont.) (civil) (by leave) (38808)
  • Nov. 5: Her Majesty the Queen v. David Roy Langan (B.C.) (criminal) (as of right) and Her Majesty the Queen v. Monty Shane Kishayinew (Sask.) (criminal) (as of right)
  • Nov. 6: Her Majesty the Queen v. Thomas Slatter (Ont.) (criminal) (as of right)
  • Nov. 9: T.J.M. v. Her Majesty the Queen (Alta.) (criminal) (by leave)
  • Nov. 10: C.P. v. Her Majesty the Queen (Ont.) (criminal) (by leave)
  • Nov. 12: MédiaQMI inc. c. Magdi Kamel, et al. (Qc) (civile) (autorisation)
  • Nov. 13: Her Majesty the Queen v. R.V. (Ont.) (criminal) (as of right/by leave)

British Columbia

Supreme Court of British Columbia

Rescission of Practice Direction 54
Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson has rescinded Practice Direction 54, which sets out the standard directions for appeals from decisions of masters, registrars or special referees.

U.S.A. v. Meng Extradition Proceedings - Arrangements of Public and Media Access
The U.S.A. v. Meng extradition proceedings have recommenced on Oct. 26 at the Vancouver Law Courts. The court implemented certain arrangements regarding the access of the general public and the media to comply with COVID-19-related public health requirements, including imposing a verbal screening process for court users. The court’s Policy on Use of Electronic Devices in Courtrooms applied to the courtroom and to the overflow space.

Alberta

Provincial Court of Alberta

Traffic Court gives red light to in-person appearances
The court is asking parties to pay traffic fines online at www.fines.alberta.ca, without needing to pay service fees. The court has introduced this change to address the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the province. The guidelines for traffic court have been revised. Individuals should contact courts via email, mail or phone until advised that they can attend in person. “We take the health and safety of all participants in Alberta’s justice system seriously,” said Chief Judge Derek Redman in the news release.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

Notice to the Profession and Public - Suspension of Family Practice Note 9 (Red Deer Only)
Family Practice Note 9 – Intake, Resolution and Caseflow Management – Calgary and Red Deer – will continue to be effective only in Calgary.

Ontario

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Notice to the Profession for Court Operations in the Superior Court of Justice Northwest Region
The court will temporarily use the ballroom in the Choice Hotel, also known as the Courthouse Hotel, at 277 Camelot Street, Thunder Bay as a courtroom. It will be utilized predominantly for criminal matters needing in-person attendance, plus a limited number of civil and family hearings. The court expects to hold most scheduled in-person trials and hearings starting in early November and to commence criminal jury trials by late November. Some proceedings will potentially be adjourned or conducted remotely via Zoom. Filings and most of the court’s regular work will still be conducted virtually. The court will not be staffing the Camelot Street location for transactional work or proceedings. The Court Services Division can temporarily be found at 189 Red River Road. The court has directed litigants and counsel to continue to reach out to judges and staff virtually for most matters.

Court of Appeal for Ontario

October 2020 Practice Direction Regarding the Electronic Conduct of Matters During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The court is temporarily dispensing with the requirement for hard copies under the applicable rules, practice directions and guidelines, except when otherwise stated in the notice or ordered by the court. Parties should electronically file documents needed for hearings even if hard copy materials have already been filed. Parties may serve documents via email except if otherwise advised by the court. The notice sets out the rules applicable to electronic materials, as well as information on publication bans, sealing orders, factums, books of authorities, appeal books, exhibit books, motion records and compendiums of argument.

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