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B.C. Supreme Court suspends regular operations due to COVID-19, some provincial courts closed

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 10:51 AM | By Ian Burns


Effective March 19 and until further notice, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson has suspended regular operations of the Supreme Court of British Columbia at all of its locations to protect the health and safety of court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

All criminal matters scheduled for any type of appearance between March 19 and May 1 are adjourned, unless directed otherwise by the court. To preserve jurisdiction, a bench warrant will be issued for all accused persons who have scheduled appearances during that time period. The court will continue to hear essential and urgent matters during the suspension period. Hearings will be by telephone where possible and appropriate, or by video appearance where appropriate and available. More information can be found here.

All civil and family matters scheduled for hearing between March 19 and May 1, are also adjourned, unless directed otherwise by the court. This automatic adjournment extends to all trials, conferences and chambers applications or other hearings currently scheduled for hearing before May 1. While regular operations are suspended the court will hear only essential and urgent matters, such as orders relating to the safety of a child or parent due to a risk of violence or matters related to public health and safety and COVID-19. More information can be found here.

In addition, the B.C. provincial court has closed a number of locations due to COVID-19. More information can be found here.