Effective March 25, 2020 (unless otherwise stated in this Notice), the Honourable Chief Judge Gillespie has suspended regular operations of the Provincial Court of British Columbia at all of its locations to protect the health and safety of court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19. In light of the extraordinary circumstances during the current public health emergency, members of the public who do not have urgent business before the Court are discouraged from attending any courthouse.
In person and by video in-custody criminal trials, bail hearings during Court sitting hours, urgent out of custody criminal trials, and other urgent trials or hearings as ordered by a judge will only be heard at one of the below Hub Court locations, unless otherwise ordered by the Regional Administrative Judge or their designate. For these matters, a victim or witness may apply to appear by videoconference from another Court location. You may contact the Judicial Case Manager (for criminal matters) or the court registry (for small claims matters or family matters) at the designated Hub Court Location to schedule your telephone application before a judge.
In person filings at all Court locations are suspended. The procedure is set out below for urgent filings for each division of the Court.
Small claims settlement conferences and small claims trial conferences scheduled between March 16 and May 4, 2020 will not proceed so the parties should not attend Court. The parties will receive notification by May 4, 2020 regarding the next date they must attend Court.
All non-urgent small claims matters, including trials and Rule 9.1 Simplified Trials, scheduled to proceed between March 18, 2020 and May 16, 2020 are adjourned without the parties having to attend Court. See Appendix “A” - Adjournment Details for more information.
Only urgent small claims matters as determined by a judge on the record will be heard, including applications:
- regarding outstanding warrants;
- to preserve limitation periods;
- to extend the time for filing pleadings where permitted under the Small Claims Rules;
- to renew notices of claim.
PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING URGENT SMALL CLAIMS MATTERS
Applications to a judge for determining if a matter is urgent can be sent:
- electronically (where able) using Court Services Online;
- by email, phone or mail to the applicable local court registry; or, by fax to fax filing registries (see GEN 01 Practice Direction).
No new non-urgent small claims filings will be accepted by the Provincial Court registries submitted between March 18, 2020 and May 16, 2020.