A trial courtroom at the Provincial Court of B.C., in Vancouver in this undated photo. (Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca)

A trial courtroom at the Provincial Court of B.C., in Vancouver in this undated photo. (Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca)

COVID-19: B.C. supreme and provincial courts suspend regular operations

Special considerations will be made for matters deemed urgent by a judge

The Supreme Court of B.C. and the Provincial Court of B.C. have curtailed operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operations of each are as follows:

Supreme Court of B.C.

The Supreme Court has suspended all regular operations effective immediately until further notice, though adjustments will be made to accommodate the hearing of urgent matters.

Members of the public who do not have urgent business before the court are discouraged from attending any courthouse.

Matters scheduled for today (March 18) will proceed unless the presiding judge orders otherwise.

All regular hearings scheduled after today are adjourned indefinitely.

Provincial Court of B.C.

The Provincial Court has also suspended its regular operations.

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.

REGION HUB CONTACT
Interior Kelowna Kel.Scheduling@provincialcourt.bc.ca
OCJ Robson Square Robson.Scheduling@provincialcourt.bc.ca
Northern Prince George PG.Scheduling@provincialcourt.bc.ca
Vancouver Robson Square Robson.Scheduling@provincialcourt.bc.ca
Fraser Surrey Surrey.Scheduling@provincialcourt.bc.ca
Vancouver Island Victoria Vic.Scheduling@provincialcourt.bc.ca

For the time being, hub locations will continue to hear matters deemed urgent by a judge. All other matters will be adjourned until May. 4, at which point parties will be contacted with their next appearance date. No new non-urgent matters will be accepted until May 16.

As far as criminal matters go, scheduling and trials will continue for persons in custody, though parties are encouraged to apply to use video conference for sentencing and trials. Out of custody matters will be adjourned.

Bail hearings also will continue to use video and telephone conferences for persons in custody.

All out of custody criminal matters scheduled between March 18 and May 16 have been adjourned.

Traffic, ticket and bylaw matters have also been adjourned and will be rescheduled at a later date. A new court date will be mailed to the disputant.

READ MORE: Students at several colleges, universities asked to vacate dorms over COVID-19

READ MORE: B.C. declares state of emergency, recalling legislature for COVID-19


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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