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COVID-19 and the courts: Oct. 19 update

Today’s update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Oct. 19 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

Supreme Court of British Columbia

COVID-19 Notice no. 42 - Chambers application by telephone and Microsoft Teams
The court will commence a gradual roll-out to hear chambers applications via Microsoft Teams, effective Oct. 14. The court will hear applications in Masters chambers of two hours or less set for hearings in Vancouver via Microsoft Teams, effective Oct. 26. The court will proceed with all applications other than Masters chambers of two hours or less in Vancouver via telephone until further notice. The court will announce at a future date the details for hearings via Microsoft Teams in the case of applications that are lengthy or will be heard in Judges chambers and in locations except for Vancouver.

Ontario

Ontario Court of Justice

COVID-19: Notice to Counsel/Paralegals and the Public re: Provincial Offences Act Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice
The court is adjourning in-person appearances set in municipally-administered Provincial Offences courts and Provincial Offences Act appeals to a judge until Jan. 22, 2021. The court will reschedule these hearings to a later date. All court locations will continue with the remote hearing of matters. The court is asking the parties involved in these matters to refrain from attending court in person. This update was announced on Oct. 14.

New Brunswick

Court of Appeal of New Brunswick

COVID-19: Updated and Consolidated Directive
The document, dated Oct. 13, updates and consolidates the COVID-19-related directives dated Apr. 6 and June 1. It applies to civil and criminal appeals and addresses wearing masks or face coverings, the filing and service of documents, the hearing of motions and appeals, media access and affidavits. Everyone present in the courtrooms should wear an adequate mask or face covering at all times, except if a judge or a panel of judges has directed otherwise. Certain limitation periods for initiating a proceeding or time periods for the taking of steps in a proceeding have recommenced running, following the lifting of the earlier suspension. Affidavits may be sworn or affirmed, as the case may be, via video technology, subject to the discretion of the court or the judge. The court continues to hear scheduled motions and status hearings via telephone conference except if the motion judge or the Chief Justice has decided otherwise. The court is scheduling perfected appeals to be heard in the usual manner, but the parties or their counsel may ask to make their appearance via video or telephone conference.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Media Release - Issued October 15, 2020 - St. John's Provincial Court
The court is not moving forward with Traffic Court matters, such as Contraventions Act cases, scheduled during November in St. John’s at this time. The court will notify in writing the parties with scheduled cases regarding their new court dates. The parties may also visit the court’s website to find out.

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