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The Supreme and Provincial Courts of BC are not closed to everyone....


We have been receiving inquiries about the courts in BC being closed due to restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. You might feel like that you have an issue which requires immediate attention and cannot wait for the courts to resume in June 2020. As of right now, the courts are closed until May 30, 2020 unless it is an urgent matter.


People are dealing with issues regarding parenting arrangements, support, and even protection related scenarios. The courts are not closed to everyone. If you have a matter which you believe requires an urgent hearing, the courts are open to have your application heard. Upon submitting your request with copies of your materials, a Judge or Master assess whether is an "urgent" issue requiring a decision, and once that is satisfied the matter proceeds most likely via telephone conference. The Honourable Judge Lee recently posted the test for an urgent hearing:


[5] NP 19 states that if a judge determines that a matter is urgent, then it may proceed to a hearing, conducted by way of teleconference only. Urgent matters may include the following:


a) Requests for urgent relief relating to the safety of a child or parent; b) Requests to obtain or set aside protection orders, or urgent orders involving parenting time, contact with a child or communication between parties; c) Urgent issues that must be determined relating to the well-being of a child including essential medical decisions or issues relating to relocation, non-removal, wrongful removal or retention of a child; d) Applications to suspend, change or cancel any order for imprisonment or committal pursuant to the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act; e) In a child protection case, all matters, including applications for supervision orders and for extension of time, and any other urgent motions or hearings; and f) Urgent cases where irreparable harm will occur if the application is not heard. You can find the entire case here: J.W. v. C.H.


So if you are waiting for the Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted, there is no need. If your matter is urgent and requires immediate attention, you still have hope.


Book with SiLaw Group to discuss this option by scheduling an appointment via telephone and videoconferencing here: Book Now

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Sandy Sihota

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