Court Updates

Court of Appeal of Alberta

Date

Update

Source

May 8, 2020

The Alberta Court of Appeal continues to hear all matters. An estimated 90% of scheduled hearings were successfully completed in the month of April. Case materials are able to be sent via email and fax. Since the Court was well down the road to electronic records and proceedings prior to the pandemic, it was more readily able to integrate videoconference hearings into its operations. However, videoconference hearings have raised procedural, policy and privacy issues. For example, to preserve the integrity of the Court's processes, the Court requires that counsel have their clients complete undertakings not to record the proceedings. The Court has published a Reference and Etiquette Guide for electronic hearings to aid counsel in their appearances before the Court. This is available on the Court of Appeal's website.

https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/ca/covid-19-health-emergency-letter-and-appendices.pdf?sfvrsn=43e59f80_0

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

Date Update Source
May 14, 2020

Criminal matters: All criminal matters, where the accused is not in custody, coming for hearing from June 1, 2020 to June 26, 2020, unless otherwise specified by a Justice presiding in an individual court proceeding, are adjourned to the locations and dates set out in Appendix A to Master Order #4, with a warrant to hold in each case to the date set out in Appendix A. Subject to paragraph 4 of Master Order #4, if the hearing date has been pre-booked by counsel, no appearance at the location and date set out in Appendix A of Master Order #4 will be required, and the warrant to hold shall continue until the pre-booked hearing date.

 

Where a designation of counsel has been filed, and upon the attendance of counsel at the location and on the date set out in Appendix A of Master Order #4, the warrant to hold may then be canceled.

 

Where a designation of counsel has been filed, and the matter is proceeding by direct indictment, counsel may pre-book a hearing date but will be required to attend at the location and on the date set out in Appendix A of Master Order #4 to confirm the pre-booked hearing date, and the warrant to hold shall continue until the pre-booked hearing date.

 

In cases where no designation of counsel has been filed, the appearance of the accused at the location and on the date set out in Appendix A of Master Order #4 will be required, and the warrant to hold may then be canceled.

 

Unless otherwise specified by a Justice presiding in an individual court proceeding, all matters involving an accused in custody and set for hearing from June 1, 2020 to June 26, 2020 are further adjourned to the arraignment court dates and locations set out in Appendix A of Master Order #4, with a warrant to hold in each case until their next appearance date in arraignment court.

https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/qb/master-order-4---covid-19-final.pdf?sfvrsn=cbd39e80_0
May 14, 2020

Civil and family matters: All civil and family matters scheduled for hearing from June 1, 2020 to June 26, 2020 are adjourned sine die, unless otherwise directed by the Court.

 

All Family Special Justice Chambers Applications that were scheduled prior to March 16, 2020 to be heard on or after June 29, 2020 will proceed as scheduled. Where filing deadlines fell between the period of March 16 to June 1, 2020, Civil Practice Note 2 will apply, unless a Justice orders otherwise. Civil Practice Note 2 deadlines are:

(a) Applicant’s materials must be filed and served at or before 4 pm on the third Friday before the week in which the assigned hearing date falls;

(b) Respondent’s materials must be filed and served at or before 4 pm on the second Friday before the week in which the assigned hearing date falls.

 

All Civil Special Justice Chambers and Special Masters Chambers Applications that were scheduled prior to March 16, 2020 to be heard on or after June 29, 2020 will proceed as scheduled. Where filing deadlines fell between the period of March 16 to June 1, 2020, Civil Practice Note 2 will apply, unless a Justice or Master, as the case may be, orders otherwise. Civil Practice Note 2 deadlines are:

(a) Applicant’s materials must be filed and served at or before 4 pm on the third Friday before the week in which the assigned hearing date falls;

(b) Respondent’s materials must be filed and served at or before 4 pm on the second Friday before the week in which the assigned hearing date falls.

 

All filing deadlines under the Alberta Rules of Court, including Rule 13.41(4) are suspended until June 26, 2020, with the exception of those Rules applicable to the commencement of proceedings, including originating applications.

https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/qb/master-order-4---covid-19-final.pdf?sfvrsn=cbd39e80_0
May 13, 2020

Family matters: Effective May 13, 2020, the Court will be implementing a Family Docket Court in Calgary and Edmonton. All family matters must first be scheduled in Family Docket Court before any other Court process can be scheduled. It is anticipated that the first sittings of the Family Docket Court will occur in the week of May 18, 2020.

https://albertacourts.ca/qb/court-operations-schedules/pandemic-operations/COVID19-Announcements/launch-of-family-docket-court
May 8, 2020 The Court announced the launch of a Summary Disposition Court in Edmonton and Calgary with Webex hearings being scheduled for every Monday and Wednesday starting May 11th. Summary Dispositions will be heard in Red Deer and Lethbridge during duty weeks. Requests for a Summary Disposition Hearing must be made by completing an online request form. https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/ca/covid-19-health-emergency-letter-and-appendices.pdf?sfvrsn=43e59f80_0
May 8, 2020 Commercial lists: The Court is hearing all emergency/urgent commercial matters and expects to expand the matters it will be hearing by teleconference and videoconference.   https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/ca/covid-19-health-emergency-letter-and-appendices.pdf?sfvrsn=43e59f80_0

Provincial Court of Alberta

Date Update Source
May 13, 2020

The COVID-19 Staged Resumption of Court Operations - Part 1 covers the period May 25th through to and including July 3rd, 2020 and outlines the Court’s operations for that time period.

 

Part 1 provides updates for the following: operating court locations; civil matters; criminal matters (adult); family and child protection; self-represented litigants in family law matters; emergency protection orders; youth; traffic, ticket, by-law provincial offences and inquiries, and case management offices.

 

https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/pc/resumption-plan---stage-1.pdf?sfvrsn=fe649e80_10
April 30, 2020 Edmonton Pilot of Virtual Judicial Authorizations using secure transmission from Edmonton Area Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). The Remote Warrant Pilot Project commenced this week in Edmonton. As of Thursday, April 30, 23 applications had been completed and it is expected that the volume will increase as familiarity with the new process increases. The Court is monitoring the project closely and remains in close contact with LEAs to identify any issues. https://albertacourts.ca/docs/default-source/ca/covid-19-health-emergency-letter-and-appendices.pdf?sfvrsn=43e59f80_0