Alberta Court Operations Return: Court Scheduling Open
September 10, 2020
(Update from March 17th, May 14th & June 3rd posts).
In March 2020, Federal and Provincial Governments in Canada announced closures and safety recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Courts were closed to all non-emergency matters for a number of months.
The Court has been quick to adapt to the limitations of the Pandemic, and is now re-opened to most matters. However, there are important new procedures lawyers and the public need to know.
On May 13, 2020, Calgary and Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench announced a new Triage systems to start processing family and civil court applications. Notices and Applications can be filed by e-mail. You can book a docket date for your matter, where a judge will decide how it should proceed: by desk application, mediation, urgent hearing or otherwise. Docket Court is done by way of video conference. It is only for Edmonton and Calgary matters.
As of June 3, 2020, all Queen's Bench locations are hearing regular applications by video. Edmonton and Calgary applications will still need to first be booked for docket before being set for a chambers video hearing date.
Trials are now being booked for September 2020 and later. Judicial Dispute Resolutions were briefly offered in the summer, but are no longer booking.
It takes approximately 7 days for the clerks to process filing requests. Queen's Bench Docket dates are currently being offered approximately 4-5 weeks from the filing of the Notice to Attend Docket for family matters. Family Chambers dates are offered approximately 2-3 weeks from the docket date.
Courts are receiving some 60+ calls a day asking about delays. They seek everyone's patience as they process all filing requests as soon as possible. Avoid calling the court house to ask about filing unless it has been more than two weeks since you submitted your documents.
As of June 1, 2020, Provincial Courts began phasing in non-emergency family and civil applications. As of September 8, 2020, the final resumption phase of services began. E-mail filing continues to be available. Court appearances are usually in person, unless you obtain prior permission of the Court to appear by phone or video. Court rooms are given strict maximum occupancy rules, distancing must be practiced, and masks are mandatory inside all court buildings. Individual protocols for the different regions are being posted under the corresponding area of the COVID-19 Information page on the Provincial Court website.
Kinetic Law remains open and continues to provide a variety of legal services. We stay updated with the courts, legal profession and COVID news daily. We can help you with your legal matter and the new court processes as they evolve.
If you need help with a civil, family or estate matter, there are a number of alternatives to the court system. At Kinetic Law, we offer mediation and collaborative law services; we can also represent you at an arbitration if you require a decision right away. All of these can be done by way of video for your safety. For more information on alternatives to court, see our page on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
If you are self-isolating or practicing social distancing, we offer consultations over the phone, video and by e-mail. We provide legal advice, identify important issues and deadlines, and provide you with options. We can represent you in communications and negotiations with the other party or lawyer. We can prepare court documents with you electronically. If you would like to book an appointment, contact us.
For more information on the Court of Queen's Bench COVID operations, see their Frequently Asked Question page here
For Scheduling Court in Queen's Bench, visit the link here
For E-filing Instructions, click the link here
For Covid information from the Provincial Court, see their website here
For more information on COVID-19 corona virus, see the Government of Alberta website here
If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of a child and are not sure what to do, there are a number of resources available. See the Government of Alberta Family Violence Prevention webpage here.
Any questions, give us a call at 780-428-1593.