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In-person appearances postponed in BC Supreme, provincial courts due to Omicron

Virus case counts have soared in B.C. in recent weeks
B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press file photo)

The majority of in-person appearances have been cancelled in both BC Supreme and provincial courts this week due to the increased spread of the Omicron variant.

At BC Supreme Court, all civil and family matters scheduled to begin this week (Jan. 4–7) are adjourned. They may be rescheduled by contacting court scheduling starting on Jan. 6.

Supreme Court criminal trials and other in-person criminal proceedings scheduled to begin this week are adjourned. The accused person, according to a court memo, should appear by phone at the date and time they were initially scheduled to arrange a new appearance.

The dial-in number will be provided by Court Services Branch staff or by Supreme Court scheduling. Continuations for trials that began prior to this week are also adjourned and counsel or the parties should appear by phone at the date and time when the proceeding was scheduled to begin to address whether the matter should continue that week.

At provincial courts, family trials scheduled for this week – whether to begin or as continuations – are adjourned. The court will contact parties by phone or videoconferencing to arrange next step and a new date if required.

Small claim matters will also be adjourned and parties contacted by the court to reschedule.

Criminal trials for accused persons in custody will proceed. Counsel or self-represented litigants must appear at court at 9 a.m. on the day they were scheduled to appear and other parties will be called throughout the day. Those other parties and witnesses must wait outside but within a 30 minute distance of the court.

All criminal trials for accused person who are not in custody will be adjourned and counsel will be contacted to set a new date. Bail hearings will continue to be conducted by audio- or video conference.

READ MORE: Parts of Canada begin 2022 with record COVID-19 cases after low-key New Year’s Eve


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