While the situation continues to evolve, currently access to all courthouses in the province of Alberta are restricted until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 30, 2020. Additional information related to civil matters is provided below.
Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench is limiting hearings to emergency or urgent matters only.
All civil and family matters scheduled for hearing between March 16, 2020 and May 1, 2020 are adjourned indefinitely, unless otherwise directed by the Court.
All filing deadlines under the Alberta Rules of Courtare suspended until May 1, 2020, with the exception of those Rules applicable to the commencement of proceedings, including originating applications.
The Court, at its discretion, will hear only emergency and urgent matters, which must be submitted electronically. A list of emergency and urgent matters is posted on the Court’s website, and includes, among others:
- Orders relating to the pandemic, including quarantine orders;
- Injunctions, where there is prima facie urgency, including refusal of treatment/end of life matters;
- Civil Restraining Orders;
- Preservation Orders;
- Urgent Orders in the nature of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus and prohibition; and
- Emergency Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders, where there is a risk of harm to an individual or their property.
Provincial Court of Alberta
As of Tuesday March 17, 2020, family, civil, criminal court or Provincial Offences/traffic court appearances in the Alberta Provincial Court will not longer be conducted in person, unless the matter is an in-custody or urgent criminal matter, or an urgent family or child protection matter. No member of the public is permitted in courthouses unless required. Legal counsel are permitted access to the courthouse for urgent court-related business only.
All Provincial Court civil matters, including trials, chambers list applications and pretrial conferences that were scheduled to be heard prior to May 22nd, 2020 are adjourned indefinitely.
Matters which are scheduled to be heard after May 22, 2020 currently remain as scheduled.
Urgent matters that may be filed with the court are set out on their website.
Alberta Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal will continue to hear appeals, applications and motions but, as of March 23, 2020, hearings are no longer held in person.
Unless otherwise directed by a case management officer or a judge, all appeals and applications before the Court of Appeal will be heard electronically (by video conference or audio telephone).
Additionally, effective March 25, 2020, where an appeal has not yet been set for hearing, and where the deadline to order or commence preparation of the appeal record and transcripts or for the filing of appeal records, transcripts, factums, extracts of key evidence and books of authorities falls on or prior to May 4, 2020, the deadline is extended by 2 months.
Otherwise, all time limits remain in effect and must be respected.
DBH Law recognizes that there continues to be a growing concern in Alberta and abroad about the spread of COVID-19. We have implemented several measures to reduce the risk and impact to our employees, clients and the community at large.
Please be aware that we are prepared to initiate business continuity protocol for remote work and communications. It is our priority to ensure business continuity for our clients while ensuring the safety of our people. We recognize that the outbreak of COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation globally and we wish to assure you DBH Law is equipped and prepared to maintain and continue business services to our clients during this pandemic.
We take pride in the relationships we have built with our clients, and the opportunities we have to represent their legal needs as they grow and evolve. We can be reached by phone at 403.252.9937 or online and look forward to the chance to learn about what is important to you, and how we can help you achieve that.