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COVID-19: Suspension of Sittings

Mar 15, 2020

To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench 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, including but not limited to:

1. Family Matters:

  • Orders where there is a risk of violence or immediate harm to one of the parties or a child.
  • Orders where there is a risk of removal of a child from the jurisdiction.
  • Emergency Protection Order reviews.

2. Civil Matters

  • Orders relating to the pandemic, including quarantine orders.
  • Injunctions, where there is prima facie urgency, including refusal of treatment/end of life matters.
  • Civil Restraining Orders.
  • Preservation Orders.
  • Urgent Orders in the nature of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus and prohibition.

3. Surrogate Matters

  • Emergency Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders, where there is a risk of harm to an individual or their property.

4. Criminal Matters:

  • Detention and bail review Orders.
  • Wiretap, Production and related Orders.
  • Fresh arrest warrants, and matters where the accused are in pre-trial custody.

Urgent matters are those that do not rise to the level of the first priority, but must nevertheless be addressed in a timely way in the context of a reduction in Court services, including, but not limited to:

  • Arraignments, including for in-custody accused.
  • Urgent Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders.
  • Receivership/CCAA stay extensions.
  • Urgent Surrogate Orders.
  • Anton Piller or Mareva-type injunctions.
  • Freezing Orders.

Parties and/or counsel who believe that their matter is an emergency or urgent are directed to call the following numbers to arrange for the scheduling of a hearing:

  • Calgary, Drumheller, Grande Prairie: 403.297.6267
  • Edmonton, St. Paul, Hinton, Peace River, Fort McMurray, High Level: 780.427.0629
  • Red Deer, Wetaskiwin:  403.340.7908
  • Lethbridge, Medicine Hat: 403.382.4156


Between March 16 and March 27, 2020 the Court will make no new bookings in any non-emergency or non-urgent matter.


Filing processes will remain unaffected. Should changes occur, there will be communications advising as to what those changes are.


For matters before the Court of Queen’s Bench previously scheduled between March 16 and March 27, 2020:

Civil and Family Proceedings:

  • All Family, Justice and Masters Chambers matters, including Family Law Special hearings, Half Day Special Chambers hearings and Early Intervention Case Conferences are adjourned sine die;
  • All civil trials that have not yet commenced are adjourned sine die;
  • All civil trials currently in process must be rescheduled in consultation with the trial judge;
  • All JDRs, Pre-trial conferences, Case Management bookings, Case Management Counsel meetings and Review Officer hearings are canceled and must be rescheduled.

Criminal Proceedings:

  • All jury trials currently in progress will continue.
  • All criminal matters set for continuation between March 16 and 27 must be spoken to by the presiding Justice. Counsel or parties may contact the Criminal Court Coordinator in Calgary and Edmonton or the regional Court Coordinator in all other Judicial Centres to make arrangements.

All other criminal matters, including trials and summary conviction appeals are adjourned to the following dates:

Calgary: April 3, 2020 Edmonton: April 3, 2020
Red Deer: April 6, 2020 Lethbridge: April 27, 2020
High Level: May 12, 2020 Fort McMurray: March 31, 2020
Peace River: April 20, 2020 Grande Prairie: April 6, 2020
St. Paul: March 30, 2020 Hinton: March 30, 2020
Wetaskiwin: March 31, 2020 Drumheller: April 2, 2020
Medicine Hat: April 17, 2020