On March 15, 2020, to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench announced that it is limiting hearings to emergency or urgent matters only. Emergency matters are those in which serious consequences to persons or harm to property may arise if the hearing does not proceed, or if there is a risk of loss of jurisdiction or expiration of an existing protection or restraining order. This includes but is not limited to family matters where:
- there is a risk of violence or immediate harm to one of the parties or a child;
- there is a risk of a removal of a child from the jurisdiction; and
- emergency protection order reviews.
Other family matters scheduled in the Court of Queen’s Bench between March 16 and March 27, 2020, including Family Law Special Chambers hearings, Half Day Special Chambers hearings, Early Intervention Case Conferences, Judicial Dispute Resolutions, Pre-Trial Conferences, Case Management Meetings, and Trials have been adjourned sine die, ie. to an unspecified date in the future.
The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench will provide an update to this announcement on or before March 25, 2020. We will update this post as further information becomes available.
On March 16, 2020, Alberta’s Provincial Court announced that it is limiting all regular operations effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until further notice.
Non-urgent family matters set to be heard in the Provincial Court after March 17, 2020 will be adjourned for ten weeks from the scheduled court date. Matters that are considered urgent include, but are not limited to: matters where there is a risk of immediate harm to one of the parties or the child; where there is risk of removal of a child; apprehension orders; Initial Custody hearings; first appearances after apprehension; mandatory reviews or show causes under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act, Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act, Mandatory Drug Testing and Disclosure Act, and Mental Health Act; warrants; and emergency protection orders.
Family Pre-Trial Conferences, Child Protection Case Management Meetings and Judicial Dispute Resolutions will be conducted by telephone unless adjourned.
Please also see our post about Latitude Family Law’s response to COVID-19 for further information about our continued operations at this time.