The Court of Queen’s Bench posted an update on March 20, 2020 announcing that the suspension of non-emergency and non-urgent hearings has been extended to May 1, 2020. This means all Family Chambers, Family Special Chambers, and Early Intervention Case Conferences scheduled up to May 1, 2020 have been adjourned without a specific return date. All Judicial Dispute Resolutions, Pre-trial conferences, Case Management meetings, Case Management Counsel meetings and Review Officer hearings scheduled up to May 1 are cancelled and will need to be rescheduled.
It is important to note that emergency and urgent hearings may still be scheduled. If it is believed that a matter is an emergency or urgent, the Court can be contacted by e-mail or by phone to request a hearing date.
The Court has suspended all filing deadlines under the Alberta Rules of Court, except the Rules applicable to the commencement of proceedings. Clerk offices remain open to file documents but access to Court locations is limited to those who must be present. Additionally, the Court announced on March 23, 2020 that e-mail filing is now available for Alberta lawyers.
The Court of Queen’s Bench has advised that an update will be provided on or before April 29, 2020.
Additionally, the Court has asked that members of the public not visit the courthouses in Alberta until further notice. Only those persons necessary to court proceedings should attend at the courthouse: counsel, the litigants, and members of the media.
The Provincial Court of Alberta has also provided an update on Family Court operations. From March 16, 2020 to May 22, 2020 inclusive docket matters have been automatically adjourned for 10 weeks with interim orders extended. All family trials scheduled during this time frame have been moved into docket for adjournment. Judicial Dispute Resolutions are not occurring and are being adjourned to trial or, if no trial is set, into docket for adjournment. Pre-trial conferences are proceeding by telephone. Emergency hearings are proceeding as scheduled.
Some child protection matters are also proceeding as scheduled. Refer to the Court’s website for further information regarding child protection matters.
Please note that information on scheduling may change day by day, and it is important to refer directly to the announcements on the Court’s website when determining whether your legal matter will be able to proceed in Court and to determine any applicable adjournment dates. We are providing a summary of updates and links to Court information, but the information we provide may be out of date. Additionally, legal advice may be necessary to determine whether a matter is likely to qualify as an emergency or urgent matter.