Friday, March 20, 2020

British Columbia Court system set to suspend regular court operations

Changes are coming as to how the Provincial Courts work
as British Columbia continues to ramp up its response
to the COVID-19 situation

The wheels of justice will spin  in a slightly different direction during the course of our ongoing COVID-19 situation, with a March 19th Directive from the Honourable Chief Judge Gillespie highlighting the moves ahead as of Wednesday, March 25th.

In person and by video in-custody criminal trials, bail hearings during Court sitting hours, urgent out of custody criminal trials, and other urgent trials or hearings as ordered by a judge will only be heard at one of the below Hub Court locations, unless otherwise ordered by the Regional Administrative Judge or their designate. 

For these matters, a victim or witness may apply to appear by videoconference from another Court location. You may contact the Judicial Case Manager (for criminal matters) or the court registry (for small claims matters or family matters) at the designated Hub Court Location to schedule your telephone application before a judge.

For the Northwest, the Hub location of note is Prince George.

Judge Gillespie also noted that in light of the extraordinary circumstances during the public health emergency, that members of the public who do not have urgent business before the Court to not attend any courthouse in the province.

The Courts have also suspend in person filings at Court House locations, a full explanation of the new guidelines during this period of time can be explored here.

Further notes on local advisories can be explored here.

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