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B.C. courts issue updates to operations due to COVID-19

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 @ 11:56 AM | By Ian Burns

The B.C. courts have issued several updates for court procedures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All civil and family matters scheduled for hearings at the B.C. Supreme Court between March 19 and May 1 are adjourned, unless the court otherwise directs. This automatic adjournment extends to all trials, conferences and chambers applications or other hearings currently scheduled for hearing before May 1. All criminal matters scheduled for any type of appearance between March 19 and May 1 are also adjourned, unless the court otherwise directs.

All jury selections are cancelled until May 31 everywhere in the province. Parties are not required to submit jury fees during the time that regular court operations are suspended. When regular court operations resume, the court may consider abridging the time for submission of fees if requests are made by parties.

The Court of Appeal has also issued a notice to the profession updating its procedures to ensure the court continues to hear the most urgent matters while responding proportionally to the pandemic.

The Supreme Court has also provided guidance on its procedures for applications under s. 490 of the Criminal Code (Further Detention of Things Seized) during the suspension of court operations. More information can be found here.