In response to the State of Public Health Emergency declared by the Government on November 24, 2020, the increase in active COVID-19 cases in the Province of Alberta, and the current and anticipated numbers of legal system participants, including Court staff, who may be unable to participate for COVID-19 related reasons, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta is announcing the following modifications to its schedule for the week of December 14, 2020. Further announcements in respect of the subsequent weeks may follow.
1. Applications Without Notice (Ex Parte) in Civil and Family Chambers
Due to a large number of holiday parenting and other urgent applications which are expected to consume much of morning Chambers throughout the week, and insufficient Court staff, the Court will not hear any non-urgent ex parte matter, at any location, except by way of desk application. The Court will put any non-urgent ex parte matter that is brought in person in Civil and Family Chambers over to a date in January, 2021, or later.
2. Booking of Urgent Matters
Counsel and self-represented litigants may continue to book urgent matters using the processes which are in place through the Clerks’ Office. Urgent Family Law matters may be directed, in Edmonton, to Patricia Copeman at email@example.com and in Calgary to Barbara Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Regional Centres (all points outside Calgary and Edmonton):
All matters set for the week of December 14, 2020 in the Regional Centres will proceed as scheduled. To the extent that matters can be conducted remotely, that is the default.
4. Calgary and Edmonton:
The following matters will proceed in each of Calgary and Edmonton during the week of December 14, 2020:
- Criminal Trials – Jury or Judge Alone;
- Criminal Applications, including Criminal Appearance Court/Queen’s Bench Appearance Court;
- Criminal Pre-Trial Conferences that do not require recording. Urgent Criminal PTCs which must be conducted on the record may proceed with the approval of either Justice DeWit in Calgary or Justice Henderson in Edmonton;
- Bail Hearings;
- Family Docket Court, including Early Intervention Case Conferences;
- Family Law Chambers, including Special Chambers Applications;
- Family Trials;
- Emergency Protection Order Reviews;
- Civil Chambers;
- Urgent Civil Special Chambers Applications and Trials;
- Masters Chambers and Bankruptcy;
- Commercial Chambers;
- Continuation of Civil Trials;
- Any specially-scheduled JDRs that do not require recording.
In Calgary, the following specific matters will be adjourned:
- Non-urgent Civil Special Chambers Applications;
- Family Summary Trials;
- Provincial Court Civil Appeals;
- Summary Conviction Appeals.
In Edmonton, the following specific matters will be adjourned:
- Judicial Reviews;
- Non-Urgent Civil Special Chambers Applications;
- Masters Appeals;
- Summary Conviction Appeals.
In addition to the specific matters adjourned as identified above, the following matters that require FTR recording will not proceed during the week of December 14, 2020 (if scheduled to be heard):
- Non-Urgent Civil Special Chambers Applications and Trials (These matters will be rescheduled as soon as possible in the Spring Term);
- Bail Estreatments;
- Adult Guardianship & Trusteeship Act List;
- Child Support List;
- IJO/Confirmation Hearings;
- Seized Matters, including Case Management Matters, requiring a recording;
- Bar Admissions;
- Criminal PTCs requiring a recording;
- Binding JDRs;
- Surrogate Early Intervention Case Conferences requiring a recording.
There continue to be no changes to the scheduling of matters in Masters Chambers (including Bankruptcy and Specials) or how those matters are heard for the week of December 14, 2020.
6. Suspension of Civil/Family/Commercial Trial Bookings
In order to allow for the rescheduling of cancelled matters, the booking of new civil, family and commercial trials and lengthy specials, unless deemed urgent by Chief Justice Moreau or Associate Chief Justice Nielsen will be suspended until January 12, 2021, subject to review. Once all cancelled matters have been accommodated in the Spring Term, booking will recommence.