Supreme Court processes have changed during COVID-19. The date of the most recent update on a subject is shown in [square brackets] and the content is still true as of that date. See the BC Supreme Court website for current Covid-19 notices.
The Supreme Court has lifted many of the in-court measures that were put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 at courthouses. [March 31, 2022]
At courthouses across the province, you can expect the following:
- No health screening when you enter the courthouse.
- No masks required in public areas of the courthouse, but you can wear one if you want to.
- Masks are available in all courthouses and courtrooms.
- The presiding judge, master, or registrar decides whether people need to wear masks in a courtroom.
- No limit to the number of people in courthouses and in courtrooms.
- Physical distancing isn't required, except at criminal jury selections and criminal jury trials.
- You can't bring your own water into the courtroom. Water will be supplied.
See COVID-19 Notice No. 52 – Lifting of Courthouse and Courtroom Pandemic Measures. [March 31, 2022]
What's currently happening in Supreme Court
You can file documents for family matters
- Supreme Court registries are open and accepting filings in person.
- You should still file through Court Services Online if possible.
- If you can’t file documents online, you can file them by mail or by fax (see the list of fax filing registries below). [December 22, 2020]
- If you aren't appearing in person before the court, you must file your Affidavit of Service or Affidavit of Delivery. [October 29, 2020]
See updated Practice Direction 9 – Fax Filing Registries Fax Numbers. [April 4, 2022]
The Supreme Court has resumed trials and other in-person civil and family proceedings, except in limited circumstances, effective April 11, 2022. See below for details. Also see the updated COVID-19 Notice No. 50.
In-person civil and family proceedings
In-person proceedings scheduled to begin or continue during the week of March 28 to April 1, 2022 or April 4 to 8, 2022 are proceeding as scheduled. See the updated COVID-19 Notice No. 45. The situation for in-person proceedings scheduled to begin or continue on April 11 or later will be the subject of future direction. The court is actively considering options for increasing the availability of in-person proceedings. [March 23, 2022]
Long chambers hearing (more than two hours) will be held in person.
Regular chambers matters (two hours or less) not scheduled on the trials list are being held on MS Teams video until further notice. See COVID-19 Notice No. 42 [April 11, 2022]. You and the other party must each give the court an email address and phone number. You'll get an email to remind you about the hearing for your application around 5:30 the evening before the hearing. You'll get another email around 8:45 on the morning of your hearing. This email will have a link to your video hearing. (If you have a lawyer, the court will send them the link.) See COVID Notice No. 47 – General Requirements for Microsoft Teams Video Hearings for information about hearings on Teams. [January 28, 2022]
Trial Management Conferences
Trial Management Conferences are being conducted by phone or MS Teams audio (Teams audio conference by phone or by video with the participants' cameras turned off), unless it gives you different instructions: [January 28, 2022]. Participants may join a Teams audio hearing using a phone or other device, by dialing the conference call numbers provided.
Applications to change the manner of attendance
A party seeking to change the manner of attendance from the default may apply by requisition. [March 31, 2022]
For civil matters, see Practice Direction 49.
For family matters, see Family Practice Direction 18.
The usual limitation periods and mandatory time periods for starting a family action, proceeding, claim, or appeal are in effect as of March 25, 2021.
The usual filing and service timelines under the Supreme Court Civil Rules and the Supreme Court Family Rules are in effect as of May 29, 2020.