COVID-19 and the courts: Sept. 14 update

Today’s update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: Sept. 14 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.

Federal Court of Appeal

Resumption of in person hearings and the effect of the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19)
The court’s fall session began on Sept. 1 with three types of hearings being conducted: those wherein all counsel appear in person, those wherein all counsel appear remotely and hybrid hearings, where some appear in person while others appear remotely. The court noted that the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19) does not suspend the time limits established under the Federal Courts Rules or those set by the court via order.

British Columbia

Supreme Court of British Columbia

Revisions to COVID-19 Notice No. 27 - In-Court Measures During the Pandemic
The court has amended COVID-19 Notice No. 27 to state that counsel should confirm that, to their knowledge, no one on their side traveled outside the country within 14 days before they were scheduled to personally appear in court.


Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

News release - Jury trials resumption
The court will resume jury selection and trials in off-site locations in the province, with the first jury selections held in Edmonton for jury trials starting on Sept. 14. In Calgary, the first scheduled jury trial is set to begin on Sept. 28.

Fall in-person and remote hearings
Starting Sept. 8, the court has been hearing all matters with viva voce evidence entirely in person in COVID-safe courtrooms. If remote testimony is needed, one should schedule the date and times with the appropriate court coordinator at least two weeks ahead.

Extension of the enforcement of Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules
Until further notice, the court is extending the pilot project for the enforcement of the Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules 8.4(3)(a) and 8.5(1)(a).


Provincial Court of Saskatchewan

Reopening of Circuit Court Locations
The court continues to resume its proceedings in several circuit court locations. As per its notice dated Sept. 1, those locations are Shellbrook and Kamsack on Sept. 1, Broadview on Sept. 2, and Melville on Sept. 21. The most current information is found on its court locations and sittings page.


Notice to the Profession: COVID - Use of Masks - Province wide
The use of mask policy provided in the notice to the profession issued on Sept. 7 will apply province-wide as of Sept. 10. People are generally expected to supply their own masks. Masks are not required in some circumstances in accordance with public health orders.

Provincial Court of Manitoba

Notice - JJP Administrative Circuit Dockets (Thompson Court Centre)
Beginning Sept. 14, the circuit dockets presided over by a Judicial Justice of the Peace will be run in Thompson. The court asks counsel who have matters appearing on the Judicial Justice of the Peace dockets to attend to address the matter before the court.


Ontario Court of Justice

Update – Additional Court Locations Commencing Virtual Criminal Case Management Appearances on September 8, 2020
The update provides information on the regions and courthouses where virtual criminal case management courts will be implemented beginning Sept. 8.

COVID-19: Scheduling of Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice
The notice explains how the court’s family law proceedings will be scheduled and conducted. Beginning Sept. 28, the court will recommence hearing applications, motions to change and Family Responsibility Office matters. Family law matters in additional courthouses and courtrooms are expected to recommence on Sept. 14.

Order pursuant to s. 85 of the POA extending certain timelines
Pursuant to s. 85 of the Provincial Offences Act, certain time limits for proceedings in the court as prescribed under Provincial Offences Act in the provisions mentioned in the order have been extended until Dec. 1.

COVID-19: Notice to Counsel/Paralegals and the Public re: Provincial Offences Act Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice
Until further notice, the court will not conduct in-person Provincial Offences Act proceedings until at least Oct. 19. Starting Sept. 28, Provincial Offences Act matters may proceed remotely.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing (CaseLines Pilot)
In an implementation update the court said it would complete additional customization of the Thomson Reuters CaseLines platform to mirror the court’s processes, following a two-week test phase and multiple CaseLines information sessions.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Media Release - Issued September 3, 2020 - St. John's Provincial Court
The court stated that Traffic Court matters scheduled during September in St. John’s would not proceed at this time.

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