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Provincial Court of Alberta

Last updated:
October 12, 2021

COVID-19 COURT INFORMATION (Main resource link)


This page is continuously updated. New information contained in this page supersedes information in earlier announcements

COVID-19 MEASURES — UPDATED JUNE 9, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic we have noticed an increase in the number of applications for witnesses to appear remotely. Those applications, wherever possible, should be made 30 days in advance of the scheduled trial date.

  • Traffic court, including Circuit Court locations, will reopen for trials only as of June 28, 2021.
  • Circuit court dockets are continuing remotely; no personal attendance is allowed.
  • Effective June 14, 2021 for Civil, Criminal, Youth Criminal, Family and Child Protection matters:
  • All trials, preliminary inquiries and other hearings involving viva voce evidence will proceed as scheduled.
  • All other proceedings including pre-trial processes, applications and dockets (including the Case Management Office) will continue as scheduled on a virtual basis only.

All safety measures will remain in place, including: masking requirements; plexiglass; physical distancing; and current COVID-19 courtroom capacity limits.

Detailed Court Resumption protocols have been established for each Court division and region, and are available at the links below.

With the increase in COVID-19 cases and the attendance restrictions on personal appearances, the Court has been receiving more requests for witnesses to appear remotely. All such requests should be made 30 days in advance.

Bar Admissions: In-person bar admissions are permitted up to the COVID-19 courtroom capacity limit.

More Information

COVID-19 Safety Measures

Strict health and safety measures have been put in place in all locations for:

  • physical distancing and monitoring of same;
  • wearing of masks and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE);
  • modifying courtrooms and other spaces; and
  • enhanced cleaning.

Do not come into a courthouse in person if you have been advised to self-isolate by public health officials, your doctor or the Alberta Health Services website; or you are self-isolating as a result of travel or contact with individuals with COVID-19.

The Provincial Court will continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis, and will provide updates regarding the staged reopening. We thank all stakeholders who have provided support and input during the development of the resumption plans.

Managing physical distancing and other health and safety protocols will take the effort and cooperation of all court users and we thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.

Covid-19 Criminal Adult Matters

As of June 14, all trials, preliminary inquiries and other hearings involving viva voce evidence will proceed as scheduled.

All other proceedings including pre-trial processes and dockets (including the Case Management Office) will continue as scheduled on a virtual basis only.

All safety measures will remain in place, including: masking requirements; plexiglass; physical distancing; and current COVID-19 courtroom capacity limits.

Criminal Fines (Adult and Youth): Applications for extension of time to pay for payment on criminal fines will be accepted by the Provincial Court via mail, email, fax or telephone.

Criminal Fine Extension Process

For further information regarding specific court locations, their protocols and practices, see the following links:

COVID-19 CRIMINAL ADULT PRACTICE NOTES

Edmonton

Calgary

Calgary Region

Central Region

Southern

Regional Information for Self-Represented Litigants

COVID-19 CIVIL MATTERS

In keeping with the Provincial Court of Alberta's reopening plan, all matters scheduled after June 11 are proceeding as scheduled.

  • Pretrial conferences and applications will be conducted by telephone or Webex as directed by the court.
  • For all in-person matters, safety measures will remain in place, including: masking requirements; plexiglass; physical distancing; and current COVID-19 courtroom capacity limits.
  • Please refer to Regional Protocols below for specific instructions for your region.

Filing

In Edmonton and Calgary, in-person filing at the civil counters will be accepted for urgent matters only. Drop boxes are to be used for non-urgent filing. Documents placed in the drop boxes in Edmonton and Calgary will be processed as soon as reasonably possible.

The drop boxes are located at the entrances to the Calgary Court Centre and Edmonton Law Courts. Once the filing procedures have been completed, the documents may be picked up by lawyers/agents/runners and will be mailed out to self represented litigants. Please include a cheque in instances where there is a filing fee.

In areas other than Edmonton and Calgary, filing of documents regarding Provincial Court Civil matters will be accepted at the counters although drop boxes are also available in Red Dear and Wetaskiwin and their use is encouraged.

Mediations

Mediations are being held as previously scheduled in both Edmonton and Calgary by telephone, Webex or Zoom as directed in the notice of mediation.

Pretrial Conferences

  • All pretrial conferences that are scheduled to be heard by telephone or Webex are proceeding as scheduled.

Trials

  • Matters that have been scheduled for May 31 and thereafter will proceed as scheduled.

Applications

  1. All applications will be held by teleconference or Webex.
  2. Staggered scheduling of  applications may be implemented 9:30 a.m. each day.

Webex

We continue to encourage virtual hearings where feasible whether by telephone or Webex. Parties are to contact the local court clerks to determine availability of Webex for their matter, and to arrange scheduling.

Edmonton and Calgary Civil Division Hotlines

For scheduling concerns, please call the civil division hotlines. Those lines are:

  • Edmonton: 780-422-2508
  • Calgary: 403-297-7217

Regional Protocols

Provincial Court Pandemic Plan - COVID19

Conduct Guide for Remote Hearings

Protocol for Booking Courtroom Technology for Remote Witness

Master Order Relating to Court's Response to COVID-19  

COVID-19 FAMILY AND YOUTH CRIMINAL

Effective June 14, 2021:

  • As of June 14, as part of the Provincial Court of Alberta's reopening plan, youth trials, preliminary inquiries, and all family and child protection trials will proceed as scheduled.
  • They will be conducted in person, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
  • For a witness to give evidence by video arrangements must be made at least 30 days in advance pursuant to the Protocol for Booking Courtroom Technology for Remote Witness Testimony.
  • The Court will continue to hear pretrial processes, applications and dockets on a virtual basis.
  • All safety measures will remain in place, including: masking requirements; plexiglass; physical distancing; and current COVID-19 courtroom capacity limits.
  • Subject to further notice, Youth Criminal docket matters will continue as currently scheduled. Counsel are to appear remotely or in person, and use designations of counsel where possible. Trials and sentencing are to occur as scheduled. In certain cases, the young person must appear. For Youth tickets follow the Traffic Court protocol.
  • Until further notice, Family and Child Protection in Regional Courts will continue to conduct docket matters in Family and Child Protection but all dockets are proceeding virtually.
  • Until further notice, Calgary Regional Family and Child Protection matters may be moved to a different court location. Contact the Calgary Regional Court Clerks office for more information.
  • Child Protection Docket matters, Case Management Conferences, Case Conferences and Pretrial Conferences will be by remote appearance or in person, depending on your local area, so please check the protocol for the courthouse you will be appearing in.
  • Initial Custody Hearings and trials will occur as scheduled with in-person attendance of witnesses, parties and counsel unless otherwise directed by the court.
  • Emergency Protection Orders, PCHAD, PSECA, Mental Health Warrants, and Secure Services applications are to occur in person unless exceptional circumstances exist.
  • In Family Law matters, docket and pretrial conferences are to occur by remote appearance by parties and counsel, or in person depending on your local area, so please check the protocol for the courthouse you are appearing in. Trials and JDRs are to occur as scheduled with local protocols governing how counsel and parties are to appear.

For further information regarding specific court locations and their protocols, see the following links:

COVID-19 TRAFFIC COURT

Traffic court, including Circuit Court locations, will not be in person from October 12, 2021 to November 5, 2021.

If you have a trial scheduled for Medicine Hat Court, please call 403-529-8644.

All provincial ticket, bylaw and other matters scheduled for trial between December 14 and June 25, 2021 (inclusive) will need to be rescheduled.  Please contact the court office noted on the back of your ticket to reschedule your trial date.

Court contact information for traffic closure matters.

If you have an appearance scheduled for anything other than a trial, do not attend the Court in person.

Access the Traffic Ticket Service website if you need to:

  • make a payment
  • request time to pay
  • dispute your ticket
  • or request a trial date

You may also contact the Court handling your matter by telephone, email or fax. Follow the instructions on your ticket for submitting a not guilty plea by mail.

Traffic Court Contact Information

If you fail to contact the Court handling your matter on or before your scheduled appearance date, you may be convicted in absence or a warrant may be issued for your arrest. If you are convicted in absence, you may be subject to a late penalty charge.

FINE PAYMENT MAY BE MADE:

  • Online at fine payments: As part of the overall response to COVID-19, the Government of Alberta has temporarily waived the service fee for online fine payments to assist Albertans while traffic courts are closed to the public.
  • By mail to the Provincial Traffic Production Centre, 601 – 5 Street S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2P 5P7. Please make your cheque payable to the Government of Alberta.
  • Through a registry office. You must take a copy of your ticket with you. A fee is applicable.

Court contact information for traffic closure matters.

TICKETS WITH AN UPCOMING COURT DATE

If you have a ticket with an upcoming first court appearance date, you can pay it online, at a registry office or by mail (see below under Paying Tickets and Fines). Contact the court handling your matter by telephone or email if you:

  • Do not dispute your ticket but need time to pay;
  • Wish to adjourn your matter, or
  • Wish to plead not guilty and set a trial date.  Not guilty pleas will also continue to be accepted by mail, as per the instructions on your ticket.

IF YOU MISSED YOUR COURT DATE

If you recently became aware that you were convicted of a traffic or other ticket offence in your absence, resulting in an overdue fine plus late payment charge, and if you have a reasonable excuse for not paying the ticket or pleading not guilty to it by the appearance date, or not appearing for trial, you can apply to have the conviction set aside. To do so, follow the instructions provided with the Application to set aside a conviction.

If you missed a court appearance date that has resulted in a warrant issuing for your arrest, contact the court handling your matter by phone or email for further direction.

REMOTE OUT-OF-CUSTODY DISPOSITIONS AND OTHER APPLICATIONS

Commencing July 6, 2020, Calgary Traffic Court will remotely hear, via Webex and in the absence of the Defendant, out-of-custody dispositions and/or any other applications ONLY where the Defendant is represented by Defence Counsel or a Commercial Legal Agent (a person who routinely represents others in Traffic Courts in Alberta for a fee, but is not a lawyer).  Matters will be heard before a Justice of the Peace by Webex, and will include:

  • Matters that the Crown and Defence Counsel/Commercial Legal Agent have proposed are eligible to be heard;
  • Guilty pleas, adjournment requests, requests for time to pay extensions, set-aside applications after conviction in absence, and joint submissions that do not involve a period of incarceration.

Details of the Remote Out-of-Custody Dispositions and Other Applications are set out in the Traffic Court Practice Note.

As the Court considers hearing other remote hearings for Traffic Court matters, a further practice note will be provided.

REQUESTS FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO PAY

If you require more time to pay your fine, you can request more time by completing the Request for Extension of Time to Pay form and emailing the form to the court office handling your matter.

A Justice of the Peace/Provincial Court Judge will review your request on the day that your fine is due and you will be notified of the decision by email/mail at the contact information provided on the form.

Requests for extensions must be made in advance of the fine due date.

NOTE: EXTENSIONS OF TIME TO PAY ARE NOT AUTOMATIC.

Further Information

TRAFFIC TICKETS SERVICE

The Traffic Tickets Service site can be used to make a payment, request more time to pay, dispute your ticket, or request a trial date.

This service does not handle Bylaw tickets. If your ticket was issued under a Municipal Bylaw (e.g. a parking ticket), please follow the instructions on your ticket.




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