Effective April 28, 2020, the Provincial Court of British Columbia has issued NP Covid-19: Commencing Recovery of some Court Operations (the “Notice”) which replaces the previous NP Covid-19: Suspension of Regular Court Operations.
The Notice sets out the Provincial Court’s current plan to commence court operations that can be done remotely by way of audioconference or videoconference.
- Small Claims matters originally scheduled from March 16 to May 16, 2020
At the moment no in-person trials can be accommodated, unless otherwise ordered by a judge.
Small claims settlement conferences and small claims trial conferences scheduled from March 16 to May 16, 2020 will not proceed and parties should not attend court. Parties should expect to receive notification from the registry starting May 4, 2020 regarding the next date a settlement or trial conference will be scheduled to be heard by audioconference or videoconference.
All non-urgent small claims matters, including trials and Rule 9.1 simplified Trials, scheduled to proceed from March 16, 2020 to May 16, 2020 are adjourned without the parties having to attend court.
For trials and trial continuations, parties will be contacted prior to the adjourned date as outlined in the Notice.
Only urgent small claims matters as determined by a judge on the record will be heard by telephone including applications:
- regarding outstanding warrants;
- to preserve limitation periods if required (see MO98-2020);
- to extend the time for filing pleadings where permitted under the Small Claims Rules; and
- to renew notices of claim.
- Small Claims matters originally scheduled from May 19 to July 3, 2020
Settlement conferences will be heard by audioconference or videoconference on the date originally set from May 19 to July 3, 2020. The registry will contact parties with videoconference or audioconference details.
All small claims trials and trial continuations scheduled from May 19 to July 3, 2020 will proceed on their original dates. Pursuant to section 17 of the Small Claims Act, the Chief Judge directs that on the trial date parties will have a pre-trial conference (not a trial) in order to determine whether the matter can be resolved or how to proceed. The Court will contact parties with videoconference or audioconference details for the pre-trial conference.
All other non-urgent small claims matters not addressed above that are scheduled to proceed from May 19 to July 3, 2020 are adjourned to new dates as detailed in the Notice.
- New Filings
No new non-urgent small claims filings will be accepted by the Provincial Court registries until further notice except for the following filings:
- Filings that result in a consent or agreement:
- Acceptance of Offer
- Consent Order
- Consent to adjourn settlement conference
- Consent to adjourn trial conference
- Consent to act as guardian
- Proof of Service:
- Affidavit of Service
- Certificate of Service
- Mediation documents
- Fee declaration
- Mediation agreement
- Result of mediation
- Notice of change of address
- Filings that end a file
- Acknowledgement of payment
- Notice of withdrawal
- Notice to the claimant (matter will not be set at this time)
- Reply (matter will not be set at this time)
- Request for payment out (where the 10 day notice was served prior to March 6, 2020)
- Certificate of Readiness (matter will not be set at this time)
- Certificate of Compliance (matter will not be set at this time)