COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is having widespread effects. Given recent events, the Courts are striving to maintain core court operations while safeguarding public health and safety. Our actions have been, and will be, guided by the advice of public health authorities.
In particular, Court operations have been significantly affected by the Premier of Alberta’s declaration on March 17th of a Public Health Emergency, by absenteeism due to self-isolation measures, child care issues and other circumstances and by the public’s need to ensure social distancing, avoid public gatherings and stay home where possible.
In response, each Court has made public announcements regarding steps taken to address current challenges. That has included suspension of in-person hearings in certain circumstances. Certain cases have been, and will be, adjourned indefinitely or to a future date for hearing. Others will, until further notice, continue to be heard although on a much-reduced basis or in a different manner.
To protect the health and safety of the Courts’ staff, all court users and the community, the Courts ask that, until further notice, members of the public not visit the courthouses in this province. Instead, only those persons necessary to court proceedings should attend at the courthouses. Those necessary are counsel, litigants and members of the media.
Traffic Courts are not operating. All fines should be paid online. Please do not come to the courthouses to pay tickets or other fines.
While the pandemic has affected the manner in which the Courts operate, we assure the public that the Courts will do what is necessary to maintain essential services and the rule of law.
The Courts are working with the government of Alberta to ensure business continuity for employees and operations in government that impact on the Courts. That includes arranging appearances via video or audioconference from local detention facilities.
The document below contains the following:
- Appendix “A” sets out the matters that will, until further notice, continue to be heard by the Provincial Court.
- Appendix “B” sets out those emergency and urgent matters that will, until further notice, continue to be heard by the Queen’s Bench.
- Appendix “C” sets out that the matters that will, until further notice, continue to be heard by the Court of Appeal and the manner in which those hearings will take place.
The Courts will continue to monitor developments. The procedures described in the attached Appendices are subject to change. Further information and announcements will be posted on the Courts’ website: www.albertacourts.ca.