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B.C. Supreme Court, provincial court offer new guidance in response to COVID-19

Thursday, March 26, 2020 @ 1:22 PM | By Ian Burns


B.C. Supreme Court registries are no longer providing in-person registry services during the suspension of the court’s regular operations.

According to the Courts of British Columbia’s March 25 notice, for requests for an urgent hearing where a person is unable to use the electronic process established by the court or regular filings that are not defined as essential and urgent, documents may be submitted to the registry by one of the methods set out below.

For civil or family matters:
  • E-filing using Court Services Online;
  • Fax filing at a registry designated as a fax filing registry by Supreme Court Civil Rule 23-2 or Supreme Court Family Rule 22-3. See Appendix A for a list of fax filing registries and the fax numbers;
  • Mailing to any Supreme Court registry. Contact information for all Supreme Court registries is available here;
  • Using the secure drop box available at Supreme Court registries. The drop box will be accessible to the public from Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and will be emptied at the end of the day and processed every 24 hours. The drop box will be monitored to ensure its contents are secure during the day. Parties who submit materials for filing using the drop box must provide a telephone number or e-mail address where they can be reached. Registry staff will contact parties only if their materials are not accepted for filing.

For criminal matters:
  • Mailing to any Supreme Court registry.
  • Faxing to a criminal registry. Fax numbers for all Supreme Court registries are available here;
  • Using the secure drop box available at Supreme Court registries.

In addition, the Family Justice Services Division of the B.C. Ministry of the Attorney General has updated the provincial court on how it will operate during the pandemic. The division provides a range of services to help resolve family disputes. Its in-person services are temporarily not available, but you can still access many of its services by telephone or other virtual means. More information can be found here.