B.C.'s top courts will resume partial operations with work phased in over the next few weeks for some trials set to take place in June, notices issued May 14 say.
“The province is still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts taken to contain it,” a notice from B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson said. “Due to the fluidity of the situation, the Court will continue to be guided by public health recommendations, and further adjustments to court processes may be required.”
Trials scheduled on or before June 5, 2020, are adjourned, unless the court otherwise directs.
All civil and family trials scheduled to begin on or after June 8, 2020 will resume, unless the court otherwise directs.
Jury selections and jury trials continue to be suspended until Sept. 7.
As of June 1, 2020, judicial case conferences, trial management conferences and chambers matters already scheduled for hearing on the trial list will resume by telephone.
Remaining scheduled matters remain adjourned until further notice.
Trial management conferences scheduled on or after June 1 and trials scheduled on or after June 8 will resume, unless the court otherwise directs.
Conferences and trials adjourned due to the court’s suspension of regular operations may be rebooked.
Unless the court otherwise directs, all criminal trials, voir dires and pre-trial applications and extradition hearings, scheduled to be heard between June 1 and June 5 are adjourned to a fix-date appearance.
“At this point, the court expects to proceed with criminal trials, voir dires and pre-trial applications and extradition hearings scheduled to begin on or after June 8, 2020,” Hinkson’s notice said. “However, the situation will continue to be assessed, taking into account the many factors affecting the court’s capacity to hear these types of matters during the pandemic.”
Hinkson said April 30 the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on court activities have highlighted the B.C. courts’ deficient technological capabilities.