Provincial Court of BC: NP 19 - COVID-19 Resumption of Further Court Operations

  • July 29, 2020

Effective Date: 29 July 2020 (unless otherwise stated in this Notice)
NP 19 (New additions in red)

NOTICE TO THE PROFESSION AND PUBLIC

COVID-19: RESUMPTION OF FURTHER COURT OPERATIONS

The Provincial Court of British Columbia recognizes that the Province is still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chief Public Health Officers of Canada and the Province still require people to keep a safe distance from each other, but currently there can be a cautious reopening of public places with health and safety protocols in place to minimize the transmission of the virus. Taking this into account, the Provincial Court has developed the plan set out in this Notice to resume further court operations.

As of July 13, 2020, Provincial Court registries will be accepting all filings at the applicable court registry either in-person or remotely (by mail, email, fax to fax filing registries under GEN 01 Practice Direction, or using Court Services Online where available). To protect the health and safety of all court users and help contain the spread of COVID-19 while maintaining access to the Court, parties are encouraged to use remote filing options wherever possible.

Criminal, family, small claims, and youth court trials and hearings scheduled after July 3, 2020 will remain on the trial list on the date scheduled. Counsel and self-represented litigants should attend court in-person on the date scheduled at 9:00 AM to advise if they are ready to proceed that day. The Court will determine which trials will proceed. Witnesses and parties represented by counsel are to wait outside the courthouse (within a 30 minute distance) and be prepared to be called to attend court in-person. Criminal trials, preliminary inquiries and continuations of trials and preliminary inquiries (excluding summary proceedings court files) that are not able to proceed due to lack of court time or are otherwise adjourned will be scheduled for a pre-trial conference before a new hearing date is scheduled. Family and small claims case conferences will proceed by audio or videoconference on their scheduled dates. The directions in this Notice are subject to change as circumstances of the pandemic change.

Download this Notice to the Profession and Public.