While the courts in B.C. are starting to resume operations, court administrators request that the public still try to stay away from the courts unless it is essential.
The B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice advised this week advised that where operations can proceed remotely, such as in chambers applications, hearings and conferences, they are taking place. Even trials are occurring.
Although the scope of “in person” work has expanded, people (including counsel, parties, and litigants) are discouraged from attending unless directed otherwise by the court and/or their presence is required.
The Provincial Court began reopening courtrooms in June and as of July 8, 2020 registries will accept all family case filings, either in-person or remotely.
As of July 13, in person registry services will resume at all Supreme Court registries and the interim process for requesting a hearing of an urgent matter will no longer be offered.
Persons using registries should continue to use email and/or fax for filings.
In family law, parties are no longer automatically relieved of the requirement to attend a case conference before making an application by written submissions. However, that can still take place via telephone.
Case conferences scheduled on or after June 1 are to resume by telephone.
Resuming a family law trial might be subject to change due to limitations on available facilities and/or public health advisories.
Mandatory time periods for starting a family proceeding have been suspended. When that suspension is lifted, more directions will come out.
Sources: the Victoria Times Colonist and in particular Jeremy Hainsworth (Glacier Media)