Abbotsford Law Courts Opening

  • September 29, 2020

A new location of the Supreme Court of British Columbia is opening in Abbotsford. The courthouse is expected to open to the public on January 18, 2021.

Effective February 1, 2021 the Court will begin hearing trials in Abbotsford. As per most Supreme Court locations, matters in Abbotsford will be scheduled according to the assize system.

I. CIVIL AND FAMILY TRIALS

Parties who have a civil or family trial scheduled in Chilliwack, New Westminster or Vancouver are invited to consider applying to move their trial to Abbotsford. Information about available trial dates for civil and family actions can be found here. Parties may also contact Supreme Court Scheduling for more information at sc.scheduling_ab@bccourts.ca.

Parties who wish to move their civil or family trial to Abbotsford must follow the processes in the Supreme Court Civil Rules or the Supreme Court Family Rules for applying to change the place of trial. Where the parties consent to changing the place of trial, parties may apply by way of desk order. The Court cannot guarantee that parties who choose to move their trial to Abbotsford will be able to secure the same trial dates. Note that the parties must have a court order changing the place of trial to Abbotsford before trial dates in Abbotsford can be reserved.

Effective September 24, 2020, plaintiffs who file a notice of civil claim or a notice of family claim may indicate Abbotsford as the place of trial. The address for the Abbotsford Supreme Court registry is:

32375 Veteran's Way Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 0B3

The Court is not yet scheduling chambers applications, conferences or other types of hearings in Abbotsford. Further direction will be provided as dates for these matters become available. Parties who move their trial to Abbotsford may book related hearings and conferences in Chilliwack, New Westminster or Vancouver, as applicable and in accordance with the Supreme Court Civil Rules and Supreme Court Family Rules.

II. CRIMINAL TRIALS

When the Court begins hearing trials in Abbotsford, absent special circumstances, accused persons who are committed for trial from Abbotsford Provincial Court will stand trial in Abbotsford Supreme Court.

The Court may also direct that criminal proceedings that began in Abbotsford Provincial Court that are currently scheduled for trial in Chilliwack Supreme Court will be moved to Abbotsford. Supreme Court Scheduling will contact counsel or self-represented accused persons if their criminal trial has been identified for a potential move to Abbotsford.

Counsel or self-represented accused persons who have a criminal trial scheduled in Chilliwack, New Westminster or Vancouver who would like to move their trial to Abbotsford by consent can express their interest by contacting Supreme Court Scheduling at sc.scheduling_ab@bccourts.ca. The Chief Justice or Associate Chief Justice will determine whether the move can take place, taking into account all of the necessary factors, including any community interest in the place of the alleged crime.

At this stage, the location of criminal proceedings other than trials is subject to the direction of the Court. COVID-19 Notice No. 33 continues to apply, and in particular, pre-trial conferences will continue to be heard by telephone or video.

THE FOREGOING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. ANY UPDATED DIRECTIONS WILL BE POSTED ON THE COURT’S WEBSITE.

Dated September 24, 2020 at Vancouver, British Columbia

By Direction of Chief Justice Christopher E. Hinkson
Supreme Court of British Columbia