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Supreme Court of British Columbia

Last updated:
October 22, 2021

Supreme Court Covid-19 Announcement Page

  • October 20, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 42 - CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY TELEPHONE AND MICROSOFT TEAMS - UPDATED FOR LONG CHAMBERS AND JUDGES CHAMBERS. Revised to include additional registries where long chambers applications will be heard by video using Microsoft Teams. For more information, click here.
  • October 15, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 27 - Revised October 13, 2021 to reflect the latest requirements on travel into Canada and indoor mask requirements. For more information, click here.
  • October 12, 2021 - Announcement - Judiciary and Staff COVID19 Vaccination. All judicial and court staff, as well as service providers accessing the secure (non-public) areas of all courthouses will be required to have received the full series of accepted COVID-19 vaccines commencing November 22, 2021.
  • September 17, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 44 - Notice to the Public and Profession regarding Use of the File Transfer Server –Insolvency and Other Proceedings. Revised September 17, 2021, COVID-19 Notice No. 44, the File Transfer System is available for use in insolvency matters.
  • September 15, 2021 - Administrative Notice No. 6 - Video Conferencing (Revised). This Administrative Notice provides information on the process for booking a video conference at any of the Supreme Court registries in BC.
  • June 9, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 42 - CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY TELEPHONE AND MICROSOFT TEAMS - LONG CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY VIDEO. Effective June 14, 2021, COVID-19 Notice No. 42 has been revised to add Victoria to the registries where long chambers matters are heard by video using Microsoft Teams.
  • June 7, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 44 - NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC AND PROFESSION REGARDING USE OF THE FILE TRANSFER SERVER IN INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS. Effective immediately, parties in insolvency proceedings may request to use the File Transfer Server (FTS) to transmit documents electronically to the Court for remote hearings. For information, click here.
  • June 1, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 35 – EXPANSION OF COURT OPERATIONS – REMOTE VIDEO CONFERENCE HEARINGS. COVID-19 Notice No. 35  has been updated to clarify that counsel / the parties must ensure that any witnesses authorized by the Court to testify in a remote video conference hearing can meet the minimum technical standards required for participation.
  • May 31, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 42 – CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY TELEPHONE AND MICROSOFT TEAMS - REQUIREMENT TO USE CAMERAS. Effective May 31, 2021, COVID-19 Notice No. 42 has been revised to require parties/counsel to use their cameras during hearings by video using Microsoft Teams.
  • April 12, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 42 – CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY TELEPHONE AND MICROSOFT TEAMS - LONG CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY VIDEO AND CHANGES REGARDING APPLICATION RECORDS. Effective April 19, 2021, COVID-19 Notice No. 42 has been revised to expand the number of registries where Masters chambers are heard by video using Microsoft Teams and to add long chambers matters in Vancouver and New Westminster to the list of matters that will be heard by video using Microsoft Teams. Other locations will be added as they become available.
  • April 12, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 32 – REGISTRAR HEARINGS - RETRIEVAL OF HEARING RECORDS. Effective immediately, COVID-19 Notice No. 32 has been revised to require that applicants in remote hearings retrieve their hearing records within five days after hearings, unless they are unable to do so or the hearing has been adjourned and reset for within five days.
  • March 18, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 42 - CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY TELEPHONE AND MICROSOFT TEAMS REGULAR CHAMBERS IN PRINCE GEORGE NOW ONE HOUR OR LESS. Effective March 22 2021, (COVID-19 Notice No. 42) at the Prince George registry, hearings of matters in chambers estimated to take one hour or less will be heard in regular chambers. Hearings of matters estimated to take longer than one hour must be scheduled on the trial list.
  • March 2, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 41 – AMENDMENTS TO THE SUPREME COURT CIVIL RULES - TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF CIVIL JURY TRIALS - UPDATED. Government has amended the Supreme Court Civil Rules to extend the temporary suspension of civil jury trials until October 7, 2022. Civil jury trials will resume on October 8, 2022. Beginning March 29, 2021, parties may file a notice requiring trial by jury for trials scheduled on or after October 8, 2022. For more information, see the Court’s notice about the suspension of civil jury trials, available here, and the order-in-council, available here.
  • March 2, 2021 - REVISIONS TO COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 35 - EXPANSION OF COURT OPERATIONS - REMOTE VIDEO CONFERENCE HEARINGS. Effective March 2, 2021, COVID-19 Notice No. 35 has been revised to update information regarding media and public access to RVC hearings.
  • February 25, 2021 - DIVORCE ACT AMENDMENTS AND REVISED SUPREME COURT FAMILY FORMS. The new amendments to the Divorce Act take effect on March 1, 2021. Some changes to the Supreme Court Family Rules and Forms will also come into effect on March 1, 2021 to reflect the amendments to the Divorce Act. More information about the new forms will be available on the Ministry of Attorney General’s website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/courthouse-services/documents-forms-records/court-forms/sup-family-forms. Effective March 1, 2021, the Registry staff will only accept the new Supreme Court Family Forms.
  • February 3, 2021 - NOTICE TO THE PROFESSION RE GRACE PERIOD FOR ACCEPTANCE OF FORMER SUPREME COURT FAMILY FORMS. Chief Justice Hinkson has issued a Notice to the Profession, the Public and the Media which implements a grace period during which the Registry will accept former Supreme Court Family Forms or new Supreme Court Family Forms that were amended by Order in Council 26/2021 up to and including February 26, 2021. Effective March 1, 2021, Registry staff will no longer accept the former Forms and will only accept Supreme Court Family Forms as amended by Order in Council 467/2020 and Order in Council 26/2021.
  • January 25, 2021 - COVID-19 NOTICE NO. 42 - CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS BY TELEPHONE AND MICROSOFT TEAMS. The Supreme Court is reissuing COVID-19 Notice No. 42 (Chambers Applications by Telephone and Microsoft Teams) to expand video hearings using Microsoft Teams to Masters chambers in New Westminster, Kamloops, Kelowna, Victoria, and Nanaimo as of February 1. More information is available here.
  • January 21, 2021 - PROTOCOL FOR COMMUNICATION AND TESTING RELATED TO COVID-19 IN COURTHOUSES. In light of concerns raised by the BC Courts, counsel and other courthouse users about the need for timely and coordinated communication about COVID-19 testing and exposures in courthouses, the three levels of Court and Court Services Branch met with senior health officials and have created a protocol that is now in effect. See the Protocol here.
  • January 11, 2021 - ABBOTSFORD LAW COURTS - CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS OF TWO HOURS OR LESS. The new Supreme Court location in Abbotsford will open on January 18, 2021. The Court will begin hearing chambers applications of two hours or less in Abbotsford the week of February 16, 2021. Please see the attached notice for more information.
  • December 22, 2020 - END OF SUSPENSION OF LIMITATION PERIODS. On December 21, 2020 the Provincial Government announced that the suspension of limitation periods is no longer linked to the duration of the state of emergency, and the suspension will end on March 25, 2021. For more information, see the Court’s amended COVID-19 Notice No. 34, here, and Order in Council 655/2020, here.
  • December 1, 2020 - ABBOTSFORD LAW COURTS - BOOKING CONFERENCES AND LENGTHY CHAMBERS APPLICATIONS. The Supreme Court will begin sitting at the Abbotsford Law Courts on February 1, 2021. Please see the attached notice for information about booking lengthy chambers applications, judicial case conferences, trial management conferences and case planning conferences in Abbotsford.
  • November 25, 2020 - UPDATE: FACE MASKS OR FACE COVERINGS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA COURTHOUSES. Effective immediately, people attending courthouses in British Columbia are required to wear a face mask or face covering, including in entrances, lobbies, waiting areas, registries, hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. In addition, people are required to wear a face mask or face covering in courtrooms unless the presiding judge, justice, master or registrar directs otherwise.

    Face masks or face coverings must be worn in a manner that cover a person’s nose and mouth. If you do not have a face mask or face covering, Sheriffs will provide one when you enter the courthouse. While wearing a face mask or face covering can reduce the spread of infection, it does not substitute for physical distancing, which must be maintained whenever possible. The requirement to wear a face mask or face covering does not apply:
  • to a child who is less than twelve years of age,
  • to a person who is unable to wear a face mask or face covering because of (i) a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or (ii) a physical, cognitive or mental impairment,
  • to a person who is unable to put on or remove a face mask or face covering without the assistance of another person,
  • if the face mask or face covering is removed temporarily for the purpose of identifying the person wearing it.

In addition, all people attending courthouses in British Columbia are asked to be familiar with all health and safety protocols and to cooperate in following them in order to protect everyone in courthouses in this province.

  • November 12, 2020 - ABBOTSFORD LAW COURTS - CRIMINAL FIX DATES AND TRIALS. The Supreme Court will begin sitting at the Abbotsford Law Courts on February 1, 2021. Please see the attached notice for information regarding criminal fix-dates and trials for criminal cases originating in Abbotsford Provincial Court, which will ultimately proceed in the Abbotsford Law Courts. Please also see the previous notice issued September 24, 2020 here.
  • November 6, 2020 - FACE MASKS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA COURTHOUSES. Chief Justice Bauman, Chief Justice Hinkson and Chief Judge Gillespie have jointly issued the following statement on behalf of all courts in British Columbia:

Effective Monday, November 9, 2020, people attending courthouses in British Columbia are strongly encouraged to wear face masks, including in entrances, waiting areas, registries, hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. If you do not have a face mask, Sheriffs will provide one when you enter the courthouse. While wearing a face mask can reduce the spread of infection, it does not substitute for physical distancing, which must be maintained whenever possible. Children under two years of age, persons with a medical condition or disability that inhibits wearing a face mask and persons who are unable to place or remove a face mask without assistance are exempt. In addition, while inside individual courtrooms the presiding judge, justice, master or registrar in a courtroom may modify this recommendation. All people attending courthouses in British Columbia are asked to be familiar with all health and safety protocols and to cooperate in observing them in order to protect everyone in courthouses in this province.

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