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Alberta provincial court adopts new measures in fight against COVID-19 surge

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 @ 1:12 PM | By Ian Burns

Alberta’s provincial court announced that it is moving more services online and delaying some proceedings in an effort to reduce the risks posed by the surging number of COVID-19 cases in the province.

As of Dec. 14, a majority of matters will either be handled remotely, or will be dealt with at a later date. In-custody matters and matters for which there is an urgent need for the court’s attention will be prioritized.

“Throughout this pandemic, the provincial court of Alberta has worked to ensure the safety of everyone in our courthouses. As the virus has surged all across Alberta over the past three weeks, it has become clear that we need to do more to address these risks,” Chief Judge Derek Redman said in a release. “Albertans have a right to a judicial system that provides expedient and fair rulings, but this can’t come at the cost of health and safety.”

The new measures include:
  • No traffic court matters will be dealt with in person.
  • Circuit court dockets will be handled remotely, and no personal attendance will be allowed.
  • Low-complexity out-of-custody trials (other than domestic violence) that are scheduled between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021, will be adjourned to new dates.
  • At regional courts, family and child protection docket matters will proceed remotely.
  • At regional courts, civil matters will be heard remotely.
  • At regional courts, youth matters will be heard remotely.

The restrictions run until Jan. 29. A complete description of all the safety measures being taken by the provincial court can be found here.